May 22, 2014

Gillibrand Urges USPS to Keep Fire Island’s Cherry Grove Post Office Open During Peak Season

The Only Post Office for Cherry Grove Residents Faces Threat of Closure

Fire Island, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today called on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to ensure that the Cherry Grove Post Office remains open on Fire Island during the peak season between Memorial Day and Labor Day. USPS recently failed to renew the independent operator’s contract for this post office, which provides the only postal service for thousands of residents of the Brookhaven hamlet of Cherry Grove throughout the spring and summer and serves as a community center for the neighborhood.

“Long Island families, small businesses, and seniors depend on this facility throughout the spring and summer, which has become a popular gathering place for the community,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We must ensure that mail services are accessible to Cherry Grove residents and I urge USPS to keep Cherry Grove post office open during the peak season.” 

In a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “The closing of this critical office would undermine the quality of life for the Fire Island community. While I do understand the need for the USPS to utilize operation efficiencies and seek ways to reduce costs, I urge the USPS keep the Cherry Grove Post Office open.”

Without this office, residents would be forced to utilize the post office of Sayville. The 29 mile trip from Cherry Grove to Sayville requires a $16 ferry ride, followed by a taxi ride. Many Fire Island residents do not regularly travel back and forth to the mainland, and forcing them to make the trip to Sayville would cause them unnecessary burdens and undermine the quality of life for both residents and visitors.

Below is the full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe:

 Dear Mr. Donahoe,

 I write to urge the United States Postal Service (USPS) to keep the Cherry Grove Post Office of Fire Island, New York open. I am concerned that the potential closure of this independently operated facility, the only post office for residents of Cherry Grove, may adversely affect the surrounding community.

 Located on Fire Island in Brookhaven’s hamlet of Cherry Grove, this office provides postal services for thousands of locals during peak season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and also serves as a community center for residents. The potential closing of this office would have a serious impact on the residents of Cherry Grove. The new source for similar services would be the post office of Sayville, which is 29 miles away and only accessible by a $16 ferry ride, followed by a taxi ride. The new need for additional transportation would create undue burdens for residents, considering many do not frequently travel back and forth to the mainland, or have the resources to do so. The closing of this critical office would undermine the quality of life for residents of, and visitors to this small Fire Island neighborhood.

 While I do understand the need for the USPS to utilize operational efficiencies and seek ways to reduce costs, I ask that the USPS keep the Cherry Grove Post Office open. Thank you for your consideration.