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Post Office plans to keep South Jamesport branch

07/18/2019 6:00 AM |

The South Jamesport post office on Second Street remains closed, nearly four months after it was shut down due to an odor inside the building. Postal officials say they plan to continue using the building as a post office once repairs are made. 

Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said an architectural engineer has conducted an investigation and will issue findings soon as to what repairs are necessary.

Ms. Marion said she did not know what the specific recommendations will be, but she said that the USPS intends to reoccupy the site, which has 279 mailboxes.

The branch was closed April 19 due to the odor, which could be smelled from inside the building, she said. The odor was not apparent from outside the building.

While investigating the odor, the postal service discovered that the building also was significantly sloped on one side, Ms. Marion said, which needed to be corrected.

“We do expect that the repairs will be starting shortly,” she said. The post office believes an animal or animals died under the building, which has no crawl space.

Ms. Marion said one option being considered is lifting the building off the ground and removing whatever is under it.

William Van Helmond, president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association, said he invited postal officials to give an update on the situation, at an association meeting, but they declined, saying they wouldn’t be able to provide an update until at least September.

“They’re not saying much,” Mr. Van Helmond said.

It’s also unclear who owns the land.

The postal service leases the site, which has an “unknown owner,” according to Riverhead Town records.

On Nov. 25, 1907, a deed from Beulah Hawkins to the Village Improvement Society of South Jamesport was recorded, and the property was given to the post office rent-free, so long as it remained a post office, according to a June 1955 letter from former Riverhead Town supervisor Joseph Kelly to South Jamesport postmaster Harry McKasson.

If the post office use were to be discontinued, the building would be removed and the property given back, according to the letter, although it’s unclear who would get the parcel, which is about 0.2 acres.

South Jamesport doesn’t have rural mail delivery, so residents are currently picking up their mail at the Jamesport post office.

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