February 18, 2022

Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Congressman Tonko Push Postmaster General DeJoy To Keep Academy Station Post Office Doors Open

Closing Academy Station Would Leave One-Third of Albany Residents without A Post Office In Their Neighborhood

Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Paul Tonko are urging Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to keep the doors of the Academy Station Post Office in Albany open until a replacement location in the community is selected. The potential and sudden closure of the Academy Station Post Office would have detrimental effects on the quality of life in Albany, especially for low-income residents, people with disabilities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. Albany residents have lost three post offices over the past twelve years and closing the Academy Station location, which has been temporarily relocated to 363 Ontario St, Ste. 3, would leave one-third of Albany residents without a post office in their neighborhood. Permanently closing this location would also leave the Fort Orange Station and the Hudson Avenue Post Office as the only remaining neighborhood post offices to serve the state’s capital. At a time when even more Americans, especially seniors, are relying on the Postal Service for vital information, income, prescriptions and other goods to stay safe and healthy, keeping local post offices open and functioning is critical now more than ever. In addition to requesting a permanent location and long-term lease for Academy Station, the members are pushing the Postal Service to expand its public notification system to ensure communities are better notified of major location changes. 

“The Postal Service’s decision to allow the lease for the Academy Station Post Office to expire with no notice and no commitment to interim service and determining a permanent location is deeply disturbing to me and the entire Albany community,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m urging Postmaster General DeJoy and the USPS to continue operating the Academy Station office on an interim basis until a new permanent office is fully established and a lease is signed. This is essential to maintaining the quality of life of residents in our state’s capital.”

“The current plan for Albany’s Academy Station Post Office should be returned to sender. Countless Albany residents, veterans, seniors, and commercial institutions are dependent on Academy Station’s central location and easy accessibility for their postal needs and a sudden closure would be a detriment to the community,” said Senator Schumer. “Postmaster DeJoy and USPS need to deliver on local concerns and should continue to operate the Academy Station office on an interim basis until a long-term solution for the post office, that maintains quality of life for Albany residents, can be found.”  

“In recent years I’ve heard directly from many of my constituents about ongoing problems with the mail, from significant delays in receiving prescriptions and paychecks, to late night deliveries and lost packages, and now ambiguity regarding future operations of Academy Station. Our incredible letter carriers, postal workers, and local offices are doing all they can, but these issues stem from a lack of resources and a failure of leadership at the top of the U.S. Postal Service,” said Congressman Tonko. “I’ve fought hard to address these concerns by demanding answers and accountability from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and just last week I voted to advance the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act to finally get USPS on the solid financial footing it needs to carry out its mission. Post offices provide essential services to our communities and I will continue to work towards solutions in Washington that ensure that our Postal Service remains transparent, accessible, and viable for all Capital Region residents.”

For the full letter, please click here and see below:

 

Mr. Louis DeJoy

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W.

Room 4012               

Washington, D.C. 20260

  

Dear Postmaster DeJoy, 

We write to you with urgent concern regarding Academy Station Post Office’s potential permanent closure, currently located at 363 Ontario Street, in Albany, New York. We have recently learned that the Postal Service’s lease for Academy Station Post Office ends in February 2022 with no commitment to service continuity. We ask for the Postal Service to continue operating Academy Station on an interim basis until a permanent location is chosen and ensure a long-term lease is signed so Academy Station remains in the community. We also ask for the Postal Service to expand its public notification system to ensure community awareness of your plans.

Formerly located at 563 New Scotland Ave, Academy Station Post Office was relocated to Ontario Street following the demolition and planned redevelopment of the New Scotland building. USPS did not sign to renew the lease at 563 New Scotland and relocated to 363 Ontario as a temporary facility. The Postal Service has not committed to finding a long-term facility nor has it provided public updates on the search for a permanent location for Academy Station. This lease’s expiration is quickly approaching.

Over the past twelve years, Albany residents have already lost three post offices and they cannot lose another without dire damage to the community. Closing Academy Station would leave one-third of city residents without a post office in their neighborhood. A closure, or gap in services, would adversely affect Albany residents, especially our veterans, seniors, small-businesses, and low-income neighbors who heavily rely on USPS. The 363 Ontario Street is accessible by major bus lines, offers disabled parking, and is a short distance from major commercial corridors. If 363 Ontario Street were to close, there would be only two remaining neighborhood-based permanent post offices in the city, with only one open site on Saturdays, leaving tremendous gaps in service. In order to preserve the livelihoods of Albany residents, we again urge USPS to continue operating the Academy Station office on an interim basis until a new permanent office is fully established and a lease is signed.

Our Albany residents need and deserve access to equitable and convenient postal services and Academy Station is essential to filling that need. Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your prompt response 

Sincerely,