Audio: Report from Public Meeting Concerning Potential Closure of Broadway-Fillmore Station

As sometimes happens in my BFA world, I forgot to grab my video camera for the public meeting regarding the post office.  I did have however have my audio recorder with me.

The above audio is of Buffalo’s Postmaster, John Phelan.  He lays out the problems facing the United States Postal Service and why the Broadway-Fillmore Station is under review to determine if it should close.

About twenty people were at the meeting.  I spoke along with other people from the neighborhood.

The reoccurring message most of the public sent is how important the post office is to the community and the business district.

Patra Mangus…a neighborhood resident who also works in B-F and is a member of the Broadway Area Business Association, spoke at the meeting wrote this in her letter to the editor of the Buffalo News:

This is a very old community. Most residents rely on public transportation. Being a less desirable neighborhood, mostly low-income people live here. Like most communities, we deal with criminals who prey on the weak and elderly. The post office tells us to use the main office on William Street, which is not a practical solution. It would take two buses and $3.50 bus fare for me to check on my mail in my post office box. And even that location is part of planned closings.

Many of our older residents remember the Great Depression and don’t trust banks. Having a post office box allows them to receive their check, in their hands, instead of direct deposit in a bank. They purchase money orders to pay their bills and mail them—all at the post office. They don’t have to worry about their check being stolen from their mailbox on the house.

The post office should also take into consideration its carriers, who slog through unshoveled sidewalks and past vacant buildings, drug dealers and aggressive dogs. The more mail being put into the post office boxes, the less likely a carrier will be injured in a fall or endangered in some other way.

I appreciate the dilemma the post office is in, but the potential damage to our community is much too great to allow the Broadway Fillmore Station to close.

When I had the opportunity to speak, I spoke of how the decision to close the post office can’t solely be based dollars and cents (the Broadway-Fillmore Station isn’t losing money by the way) and that the intangible benefits to the neighborhood and business district need to be taken into consideration.  A post office being open means a lot to a neighborhood like Broadway-Fillmore which has seen its share of decline over the years.  Closing it works against its residents, people, organizations and businesses working hard to change things in the neighborhood.

I encourage you to give your input and ask the USPS not close the Broadway-Fillmore Station by writing to:

Facility Optimization Coordinator
United States Postal Service
1200 William St. Rm 205
Buffalo, NY 14240-9345