Boerum Hill post office must ‘deliver’ in 90 days — or else

Boerum Hill post office must ‘deliver’ in 90 days — or else
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Boerum Hill’s disorganized and dirty post office has 90 days to get its act together, Brooklyn’s postmaster says — bringing relief to residents who’ve suffered at the hands of their local station for years.

Times Plaza Station Post Office on Atlantic Avenue has long tormented residents with long lines, churlish employees and undelivered packages — but at a community meeting last week, postal officials promised to fix their shoddy service and bring in a new manager.

Brooklyn Postmaster Carmen Fede told disgruntled locals that the station near Third Avenue will retrain staff, monitor deliveries, and hire a new branch manager — a position that’s been vacant for the past few weeks.

“You’ve got to have a captain steering the ship,” said Darleen Reid, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service. “We realized we needed to give the community what it deserves.”

Locals remain skeptical that anything will improve.

“This post office is just incompetent — I’m not at all confident things will change,” said Kevin Ferrara, 43. “Package deliveries don’t come, or when they leave a slip and you go to pick up the package, they already sent it back.”

Ferrara said he’ll never forget the time several years ago when the office lost his dead friend’s ashes. The pal died in California and the mortuary shipped his ashes via the U.S. Mail, but they were MIA for one month before Ferrara retrieved them.

Martha Kamber, executive director of the Third Avenue YWCA, says that the post office stopped delivering mail to her building altogether.

“We only found out because they sent back a check to one of our founders,” she said. “We had to run to his house to get it.”

Kamber said that when she asked post office employees for an explanation, they told her they stopped delivering to the YWCA because it was a new business in the neighborhood — an answer that doesn’t make much sense.

After the 90-day turnaround, there’s no guarantee that the Times Plaza Station will remain in its current location, as its lease is up in 2013.

“It doesn’t make good business sense to pay rent in a place that doesn’t meet our standards,” Reid said. “The days of brick-and-mortar post offices are gone.”

The U.S. Postal Service has begun installing stations in retailers like Walgreens and Home Depot to handle mail services, she said.

This sort of streamlining is just the reason Ferrara thinks the post office will give up on the current building.

“It’s dirty, they don’t clean it, there’s no pens on the counter for people to use,” he said. “I don’t think the community meeting is going to do anything.”

Residents can direct all complaints to (800) 275-8777 or www.usps.com.