Princess Anne Post Office Building Shut Down, Picketed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Princess Anne Post Office Building Shut Down, Picketed

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A sign taped to door of Princess Anne post office directing patrons to back of building. (Photo: WBOC) A sign taped to door of Princess Anne post office directing patrons to back of building. (Photo: WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- A small group of Princess Anne residents picketed the town post office to object a proposal to move its location.

But the post office building, located on Somerset Ave., has been deemed unsafe in working conditions for employees and patrons.

Janice Wilkins, the Postmistress of Princess Anne, says the post office was evacuated and shut down Friday afternoon for health reasons.

Wilkins and town officials say mold, sewage leaks, lead and poor air quality were all found inside the building by the health department.

In the parking lot behind the post office, a retail van acts as a temporary postal station. The pop-up station sits next to two portable toilets employees have had to use until the building's sewage problems are fixed.

Richard Reedy, the Manager of Postal Operations for the United States Postal Service, says they've known about the Princess Anne office's sewage and mold issues since July.

President of the Princess Anne town commission Garland Hayward says he's shocked to learn the problems had not been addressed for nearly two months.

"I've been on the commission for 25 years," said Hayward, "how did it get to this point? And this is the first that we've even heard that the building was in such bad condition."

A nonfunctioning post office came as a surprise to many of the residents who visited the office Saturday, including Lorretta Gale.

"[I] just wanted to come check the mail this morning before they close the office part at 12:00 p.m. And then I read the note on the door," said Gale.

A note taped to the doors and windows of the office directed patrons to go to the back of the building for service.

While customers were served in the back, protestors shook their signs in the rain at passing drivers.

One of the protestors was Princess Anne town commissioner Dennis Williams who says he does not want to see the post office move from its current location.

"The post office is the hub of downtown. It's so important. Many people walk down here, they get their money orders. If it moves out to the highway, it just isn't acceptable," said Williams.

Not everyone in town would mind the post office's move.

"It wouldn't be an inconvenience," said Gale. "I'm just so used to coming here to the post office to get my mail, I've been doing it for years."

Operations Manager Reedy says all full-service postal needs can be fulfilled at the temporary station van, including shipping and money orders.

Reedy says the postmistress will not be held responsible for the building's demise.

Hayward wants to remind residents that any concerns about the town's buildings, facilities or public spaces, can be submitted to town hall or expressed at the monthly meetings held on the first Monday of each month.

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