As we reported yesterday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and the Grand Street co-ops are organizing a rally Sunday afternoon to save the Pitt Station Post Office. The Postal Service is expected to decide in the next week or two which of the 371 post offices being evaluated across the country will be closed. So the event on Sunday is very likely the last opportunity for residents to make their voices heard.
The Clinton Street post office is one of 7 locations in Manhattan on the chopping block. According to the Washington Post, it’s unlikely more than about 200 offices will be on the final list. The closures are part of the Postal Service’s effort to close a $7 billion budget shortfall. At most, shuttering the retail offices will save around $20 million.
At a meeting back in September, Silver and Maloney presented New York Postmaster Lorraine Castellano with more than 14-hundred signatures, urging the USPS to keep the Pitt Station open. The small office, located in commercial space owned by the Seward park Co-op, serves a large elderly population. Postal officials have pointed out the Knickerbocker Station in Chinatown is only .3 miles from the Pitt Station. Community activists have countered, however, that, for residents at the far end of Grand Street it’s more like .6 miles. They are also concerned that the Knickerbocker Station does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The management of the Seward park Co-op has kept the USPS’s rent on Clinton Street low, to encourage the post office to stay in the neighborhood. Postal Service officials have said many factors are being taken into account as they evaluate which locations to shutter, including the “impact on employees, service standards, cost savings, customer access, environmental impact, real estate values, and long-term needs of the service.”
Once the final announcements are made, it will be at least 60 days before the offices will be closed. Sunday’s rally begins at 12:30. Silver and Maloney are expected to arrive at 12:45.