Northeast Queens civic leaders and elected officials said they believed a proposed spot to relocate Bayside’s Bell Boulevard post office would be inconvenient and potentially unsafe.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Bayside, blasted a and move its staff and services to a remote annex on 216th Street.
But the United States Postal Service could not be reached for comment.
Bayside leaders said the annex, which is near the Lawrence Cemetery, would not be an ideal site to relocate the post office.
“There’s a footbridge there with no sidewalks,” said Frank Skala, president of the East Bayside Homeowners Association. “It’s a swamp where people walk their dogs and it’s filled with garbage. It’s a desolate area that’s not conducive to safety. And it’s five blocks from Bell Boulevard. So, where would store owners go to get post office supplies or the elderly people who want to mail a package?”
Community activist Jack Oshier said he had originally been told that the post office’s fate would be decided in early 2013, but recently heard it might close this fall.
“If you go to the post office, they have a list of sites closing and consolidating, but they don’t have Bayside listed,” he said. “And it’s because they don’t want the flack. I don’t know what the big secret is. They should let us know.”
Oshier said he has proposed that a local business, such as , consider opening a satellite station similar to the postal services offered at some Walmart chain stores.
“It would bring in a lot of business,” he said.
Ackerman said he heard that the relocation would save the Postal Service money, but that no jobs would be lost.
Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, said he was upset that local leaders had not been given a heads-up on the proposed closing.
“The government has been less than transparent about this process,” he said. “I didn’t even hear about the closure until a few days ago. To my knowledge, it wasn’t on any list of potential closings. The residents and business owners of Bayside deserve to have their voices heard before any action is taken.”
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