Lawmakers want post office repaired faster in Gales Ferry

Ledyard - Repairs to the post office in Gales Ferry, which closed in late October when heavy rains breached the roof, were supposed to take a few days.

But it has been almost three months now, and state legislators are upset with the slow rate of repairs.

State Rep. Tom Reynolds (D-Ledyard) and state Sen. Edith Prague (D-Columbia) wrote a letter to the district manager of the U.S. Postal Service, expressing frustration about the slow pace of repairs and the lack of communication about when work will be completed.

"The post office is important to the Gales Ferry community and local residents are increasingly frustrated about the lack of movement on what was supposed to be a temporary closure," Reynolds said. "It's been eleven weeks and there continues to be delays and a lack of communication about the anticipated date of reopening."

Reynolds said that he and Prague were concerned the Postal Service "does not understand the urgency of reopening the facility" and urged postal officials to make reopening the Gales Ferry branch a top priority.

Since Oct. 29, when the post office was closed, Gales Ferry residents have had to go to the post office in Ledyard, which is about 5 miles away, to send and retrieve mail. Home delivery, which is based at the Ledyard location, has not been affected.

Prague said that access to a local post office is especially important during the tax season. "There is no postponing that April 15 filing deadline," Prague said. "Local patrons want and deserve local service."

Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said damage to the facility was more extensive than workers first expected and indicated work at the site will take at least several more weeks, she said.

"We don't have a date in mind that we can hang our hat on, but work is going on regularly," Marion said. "I know that a crew was there today and it's not that work isn't going steadily. It's just that the interior damage to the facility was quite damaged. I think everyone at the beginning was a little too optimistic about how long repairs would take."

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