Maria Kacik | The Gazette
BRUNSWICK â€” At-large Councilman Pat McNamara has spent many Saturday mornings waiting in line at the post office.
Since the office was built more than 20 years ago, long waits for service and traffic in the parking lot outside the branch have become a growing problem, he said. Thatâ€™s why he said he would like to see some upgrades to the post office signed, sealed and delivered in Brunswick.
â€œI try to go there and now it seems to be crowded at any time of day. That tells me right there that weâ€™re under-serviced,â€ McNamara said.
Dolores Skalak, of Brunswick, waited two minutes at the post office, 3955 Center Road, Wednesday morning, even though there were four people in line in front of her. She said it was the fastest she has made it out of there. â€œIt depends on what time I get here,â€ she said, noting sometimes she sees long lines at the post office. â€œYou never know.â€ (Maria Kacik | The Gazette)
He also said the officeâ€™s parking lot is often full, with cars coming in and out of the lot often coming close to hitting each other.
â€œThe parking situation is dangerous,â€ he said.
Ward 3 Councilman Joseph Delsanter, whoâ€™s also the cityâ€™s vice mayor, said the post officeâ€™s positioning poses a problem, too.
â€œThe location of the post office is challenging to any commuter,â€ he said. â€œAnd it is restrictive in its ability to expand.â€
A few years ago, McNamara and other city representatives began a letter-writing campaign to the U.S. Postal Service and highlighted how the cityâ€™s post officeâ€™s situation could be improved. In addition, McNamara and other officials have asked federal representatives for some support on the issue in the many meetings theyâ€™ve had with them in Washington, D.C.
But little has been accomplished, he said.
â€œItâ€™s not that weâ€™re met with resistance (from the postal service). Itâ€™s more obstinacy. Theyâ€™re in a streamlining mode. They want to condense â€” not build bigger,â€ McNamara said. â€œWeâ€™re caught between a rock and a hard place in that sense.â€
Victor Dubina, spokesman for the postal service, said the service began a new building freeze in October.
â€œEssentially the postal service is operating in the red,â€ he said. â€œWe ended the last fiscal year $2.8 billion in the red. We had a decline in mail volume of 9.4 billion piecesâ€ last year.
He said this year is projected to be worse, with an expected decline of 12 billion to 15 billion pieces of mail.
â€œIf the economy doesnâ€™t turn around and people keep paying bills online, we project losses to be considerably higher than last yearâ€™s,â€ Dubina said.
But McNamara and other city officials said they are going to continue to lobby for some kind of change at the post office, 3955 Center Road.
â€œThe representatives are certainly aware of my discontent with (the postal service). Every time we go to Washington, (representatives) are more aware and we will continue to push,â€ said McNamara, who chairs City Councilâ€™s Economic Development Committee.
He said a post office thatâ€™s easier to deal with would be a boost to businesses in the area.
â€œFor me, everything is economic development. And the construction of a new post office would be huge â€” more jobs,â€ he said. It also would make it easier for businesses to send out mail, he added.
Dubina said several stores in Brunswick sell stamps. In addition, he said the postal service is searching for an area business to contract with to provide some postal services, including mailing packages.
Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.