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Post office goofs with senior line

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Senior citizens concerned about the lost of a dedicated line at the Rugby Post Office on weekday mornings will be happy to know that, according to the United States Postal Service, it was all a big misunderstanding.

The issue had come up during the September meeting of Community Board 17, when area resident Lloyd Roberts, the president of the East 92nd Street Block Association, complained during the public session about the cessation of the senior-only convenience.

“I’d like to see if the board can renegotiate hours for senior citizens,” Roberts told the group gathered at the First United Church of Jesus Christ, 590 Utica Avenue.

In a subsequent interview, Roberts said he had been aware of the change at the branch located at 726 Utica Avenue for about two months.

“Apparently,” Roberts told this paper, “they cut it out. I asked the counter clerk and he said they had just eliminated it. When I asked why, he said I had to see the postmaster, who gave me no explanation.”

The lack of a dedicated line serving senior citizens creates problems, Roberts said. “Some senior citizens can’t stand very long but they like to do their own business. So, a lot of seniors have been inconvenie­nced.”

But, Bob Trombley, a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service (USPS), said that, in fact, the service had never been eliminated. Rather, he told this paper that it was “a simple misunderstanding.

“The computer unit at window number one, where they have the senior line, was broken for a couple of weeks,” Trombley reported. “People may have been confused by lack of signage and the machine being broken. Now it’s been fixed so as of tomorrow it will be open again.

“To make it even easier,” Trombley said, “they are going to be putting signage up.”

Asked about Roberts’ assertion that he had been told, two months ago by a Rugby Post Office staffer that the senior line had been discontinued, Trombley said he could only report what had been told to him by the branch.

Trombley said the window would be used for a dedicated senior citizen line from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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