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Saturday, June 22, 2024


Nov. 1, 2001 – After an absence of more than a month, the U.S. Postal Service van will resume serving Coral Bay on Monday, Postmaster Louis Jackson said Thursday.
He said the mobile post office service was stopped because the Cruz Bay Post Office was understaffed and the van clerks were having to work at the Cruz Bay facility. That problem has been solved, he added, but a dead battery in the van has caused further delays.
East End resident Barbara Alpern was relieved to learn the van would be returning. She mails boxes of hand-painted Sloop Jones clothing, which is produed on the East End, every other day, and for her the van in Coral Bay was a boon.
"I have to drive 40 minutes one way to Cruz Bay, as opposed to 10 minutes to Coral Bay," Alpern said. Also, she noted, the Cruz Bay facility suffers from the parking shortage that plagues the rest of the town, but the area around the Coral Bay van is wide open. She can drive her car right up to the van, which makes it easy to unload the boxes.
"I really appreciate that it's there," she said, a sentiment shared by other East End residents. She said she even has seen Cruz Bay residents posting mail at the van, perhaps because it was less stressful than struggling to find a place to park in Cruz Bay and then waiting in line in the post office.
How long the Postal Service will continue operating the van service in Coral Bay remains to be seen. Jackson said he's monitoring how much revenue it generates — and it hasn't been all that much. He acknowledged that the service is needed but did not say whether that would be a consideration.
The van started serving Coral Bay in April of 2000, open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Alpern said clerks taking unannounced lunch breaks is sometimes a problem, and it would be helpful if they kept consistent lunch hours and posted them on the van so customers could plan their visits accordingly.

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