After months of discontinued mail delivery services that troubled many, residents at the Captain Parker Arms apartment complex are now receiving mail directly to their residency mailboxes again.
Residents reported that mail was delivered during the first week of July for the first time since March, when delivery was unexpectedly suspended by the United States Postal Service (USPS) because of disrepair in the complex’s mailboxes that caused an injury.
Ann Gilbert, a resident of the complex who has been outspoken in resolving the mailing issue that infuriated many in the Captain Parker Arms community, told the LexObserver she came home to a new mailbox key taped to her apartment door on July 5.
Gilbert said residents did not receive any notice from the complex’s building management on the arrival of the new key, a communication measure that was also absent during the months’ residents were puzzled why there was no mail delivery.
There were no apparent issues with mail delivery, Gilbert said, until last March, when residents started to notice their mailboxes were empty.
“The mail just stopped coming and nobody understood why,” Gilbert said. “Neighbors would ask each other in the parking lot if they were receiving mail.”
USPS spokesperson Stephen Doherty told the LexObserver that mail delivery was suspended because the building’s mailboxes were in disrepair “to the point where the mail was not secure and the carrier had been injured by them.”
The building management of Captain Parker Arms was notified by USPS that the residents’ mailboxes needed to be replaced before mail delivery could resume.
Gilbert said residents also did not receive any official announcement or explanation from the Captain Parker Arms building management or from the complex’s landlord, the Hamilton Company, as to why the mail delivery stopped.
The only message relayed to residents about the mail discontinuation came from the USPS postmaster, which only informed residents that their mail was being held at the post office.
“An announcement was posted near the mailboxes in the building,” said Amy Gibbs, a strategic communications specialist for USPS. “That was the only avenue available to reach the residents and inform them.”
Residents, still clueless as to exactly why their mail wasn’t being delivered to their mailboxes, were left to travel to the post office to collect their mail.
Gilbert said she moved her bills to autopay to avoid time spent traveling to the post office.
A 96-year-old resident of the complex, who is unable to drive, went months without mail as she had no way to travel to the post office while mail delivery was suspended, Gilbert said. Other neighbors, many of whom work the same hours the office is open, would go a long while without their mail, potentially missing important messages.
“The mail was inconvenient, but I worked around it,” she said. “Not everyone can do that in the way I was able to.”
Mail delivery woes and lack of correspondence from management sparked a petition throughout the complex for transparency.
Gilbert had been vocal about receiving answers and resuming mail delivery during the unsettled months by contacting the building management and state representatives and posting on local online forums for assistance.
“I thought I could help … I just wanted my mail,” Gilbert said of her efforts to find a solution.
In mid-May, new mailboxes requested by USPS were installed throughout the building complex, Gibbs said. While the Captain Parker Arms management was responsible for replacing residents’ old mailboxes, USPS was in charge of the installation of new locks.
Gilbert noticed the new mailboxes, but deliveries were still not being made by a mail carrier, and no official announcement by building management on the following steps to reinstitute mail delivery was as of late June.
Now, the new mailbox locks have been installed and residents no longer have to travel to the post office for their mail. Representatives from Captain Parker Arms did not respond to requests for comment.