U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Milltown Mayor Eric Steeber today announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has formally committed to maintaining a postal retail facility in Milltown.
"For more than eight months, Milltown has lived without a functioning post office," said Holt. "Many residents have written me to express concern about the disruption to their personal and business lives. They have faced longer drives to buy stamps, send a certified letter, or conduct the day-to-day work of their small businesses. Fortunately, we can now say that these disruptions will soon end: I have received a formal, written commitment from the U.S. Postal Service to maintain a postal retail facility here in Milltown for the long term."
The Milltown Post Office has been closed ever since it was damaged in flooding from Hurricane Irene last year. A temporary trailer was installed to provide P.O. Box services, but all retail operations were transferred to the East Brunswick Post Office.
On December 16, 2011, shortly after visiting the flood-damaged post office, Holt wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe requesting assurances that Milltown would retain a full postal retail facility. "I appreciate the USPS efforts to repair and reopen the Milltown Post Office," he wrote. "However, I have been informed that work on the repairs has been halted. Rumors that the Post Office may not reopen in Milltown have caused significant concern for my constituents that rely on this location for personal and business purposes. I ask for your specific commitment that the USPS will maintain a retail post office location in Milltown."
Earlier this month, following a teleconference between Holt, Steeber, and USPS officials regarding the Milltown facility's future, the USPS replied with a written commitment. "I made a commitment to maintain a Postal Retail Facility in Milltown, NJ that will continue the same high standard of service to the customers in that town," wrote Priscilla Maney, District Manager for Northern New Jersey of the USPS.
According to Maney, the exact location of the Milltown facility remains to be determined. "The current location of the facility is in a flood zone area and may not be the best location for the Postal Service," she wrote. "We are reviewing several options in Milltown that would present the best scenario to either maintain the current location of relocate the facility."
"I wish to thank the residents and business owners of Milltown and our surrounding communities for their support to keep a full-service postal facility in Milltown," said Mayor Steeber. "Their impassioned pleas to the United States Postal Service did not go unheard. I wish to also thank Congressman Rush Holt for graciously hosting a meeting with me to allow me the opportunity to state the case for Milltown's needs and desires regarding this issue. Without Congressman Holt's direct involvement in support of Milltown, I fear the outcome may have been different. On behalf of all those who use and work for our postal facility, I simply say thank you to Congressman Holt and the U.S. Postal Service."