LONG BRANCH: The closure of the West End Post Office at 131 Brighton Avenue has left residents without a local spot to drop off or pick up their mail, but relief could be on the way in the next few months.
Richard Hancock, a real estate specialist with the United State Postal Service (USPS), addressed the Long Branch Council during its Nov. 13 meeting and said a new post office could be reopened in the next nine months if not sooner.
Hancock said there are no plans to consolidate the the operations of the West End Post Office and that a new location on or near Brighton Avenue will be selected in the coming months.
"We are intending on replacing it, that is our goal," Hancock said. "The requirements are to stay as close as possible to former location."
Hancock said the USPS is looking for a retail storefront that is between 800-1,000 square feet.
He said there is a 15-day public comment period, beginning on Nov. 13, and then there is then a 30-day appeal period before the site selection process begins.
Once potential locations are chosen, the USPS's site review committee will go over the choices and make a determination and then another public comment period is held before the USPS enters into a lease with a new storefront for the post office.
Hancock said there is a chance the original location could be used again if the building conditions are fixed and a new proposal is drafted by the owner.
Long Branch Council President Michael Sirianni said he was happy to see the post office returning to West End
"It's a staple, I grew up in West End and I remember when the post office used to be in Richard's Deli," Sirianni said. "We've always had one in West End and I look very much forward to having it back."