LINDEN, NJ — The U.S. Postal Service plans to open a new post office to replace the city’s Station A, which has been closed for the past year, Kurtis Bullard, a real estate specialist for the Postal Service, announced at the May 21 City Council meeting.
Bullard told the council and residents in attendance that the agency is looking to “re-establish Station A as soon as possible” and that it has been looking at different properties around the city, including the Science Resource Center adjacent to the parking lot of the former post office location.
Station A, which was located at 340 West St. George Ave., was temporarily closed last year on May 30 due to an issue with the lease agreement.
“Apparently, there were some changes within the ownership and we could not reach an agreement with that current lease,” Bullard said.
He said at the meeting that the Science Resource Center may be too large, so the Postal Service has been looking at other locations.
“It is a little larger than what we typically need but I think that, at the end of the day, once we get a layout it could be a good fit for us,” Bullard said.
Councilwoman Rashonna Cosby, who represents the 5th Ward, asked if the Postal Service had considered opening a station on the east side of the city for her constituents who currently must go to the main post office on North Wood Avenue. Bullard responded that the agency has not considered adding another station yet, only reopening Station A.
“On the postal side, I have a fully approved and funded project for Station A so that we can come back and open this station,” Bullard said.
He added that once the public comment period has closed, a “final determination letter” stating which location will house the new Station A will be released.
“We worked very hard to see to it that Station A was reestablished,” Mayor Derek Armstead said during his comments at the meeting. “Station A will be coming. They’ve got some options on the table. They haven’t secured a final commitment, but things are looking very good for that station.”
Written comments are to be accepted up to 30 days after the May 21 public meeting. Comments must be in writing, identify the post office by name, and sent to: Kurtis Bullard, Real Estate Specialist, U.S. Postal Service, P.O. Box 27497, Greensboro, N.C., 27498-1103.
The May 21 council meeting was the first in which Paul Coates was seated as the 8th Ward councilman, after a nearly five-month court battle, making it the first meeting of the year with a full council.
Superior Court Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled May 14 that Coates must be seated in the vacant position and Coates was sworn in at the commencement of the meeting to fill the vacancy created when Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis resigned the 8th Ward seat to serve as council president Jan. 1.
“I’m absolutely honored to serve the residents in the 8th Ward. With that being said, it’s been four months that this ward hasn’t had representation but now, I will be their voice,” Coates said during his ward report.
Coates received several congratulations from board members John Francis Roman and Cosby and from residents, but he was not acknowledged by Armstead or his allies on council — Alfred Mohammed, Peter Brown, Barry Javick and Lisa Ormon — during their comments.
Armstead told LocalSource on May 20 that he was surprised at Dupuis’ latest decision, considering that the ruling had been in the council’s favor in the first two rounds of the legal battle.
“At the end of the day, the 8th Ward voters will decide who their councilperson will be,” he said during a May 20 phone interview, referring to the upcoming June 4 primary election.
The council seat was one of several issues at stake between Armstead and Scutari, who have been sparring for more than a year since Scutari, the Linden Democratic Committee chair, won the Union County Democratic Party chairmanship while Armstead supported his opponent, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr.