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Fort Howard Post Office closing this week which forces residents to pick up mail miles away

Fort Howard Post Office closing this week forcing residents to pick up mail miles away
Fort Howard Post Office closing this week forcing residents to pick up mail miles away 02:53

FORT HOWARD - Starting Monday, hundreds of residents living on a Baltimore County peninsula will have no other choice but to pick up their mail at a Dundalk United States Postal Service location.  

The Fort Howard USPS location on Howard Avenue will close its doors after this Friday, Sept. 15. 

RELATED: Post Office Problem: Baltimore County residents worried as Fort Howard location prepares to close

On Sept. 18, those who received service there will be able to pick up their mail more than eight miles away at 44 Shipping Pl. in Dundalk. 

Starting in 1978, Kathleen Labuda said the USPS began leasing her family's building in Fort Howard. However, the agreement is set to expire at the end of this September. 

"It is not being renewed because the post office real estate department refuses to negotiate," said Labuda. "I am disappointed because it affects this entire community of 189 homes and these people do not deserve this."

Fort Howard is designated as a 'Group E' Post Office Box Service, according to Labuda, which means residents must pick up their mail at their office. 

Some residents expressed concerns about the change in mail service location because of the distance and limited hours offered for pick-up. 

"It's going to be awful because not only is it going to be 20 minutes, but we also have roadwork going on, there's no public transportation, so myself. I have a vehicle but many of our community members do not drive or are elderly," said Jessica Hammonds. 

In a statement to WJZ, USPS wrote: 

"We were notified that our lease at the Fort Howard Post Office will expire Sept. 30. We are currently exploring options to continue mail service there for our valued customers and have no further information at this time. The Postal Service will notify customers of our plans as soon as it becomes available."

In the meantime, neighbors have been pleading for help from community associations, the county executive and congressman Kweisi MFume, whose district encompasses Fort Howard. 

On Aug. 30, the congressman and U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin wrote to USPS Postmaster, Louis DeJoy about the agency's long-term solution:

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy: 

"We write to you regarding the planned closure of the Fort Howard Post Office (Post Office), located at 9200 Howard Avenue, Fort Howard, Maryland 21052, to request more details on how the United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to implement this change without hurting the community that relies on this branch's services."

"A number of constituents have contacted our offices to express their concerns about the Post Office's closure and their future inability to obtain their mail in timely manner. Currently, Fort Howard residents retrieve their mail from their local Post Office branch. USPS officials have indicated that residents of the Fort Howard community will need travel to the Dundalk Post Office located at 44 Shipping Place, Dundalk, Maryland 21222 to retrieve their mail after the Fort Howard Post Office closes on September 15, 2023. This change would present a multitude of challenges for many Fort Howard residents because of limited personal mobility and a lack of public transportation options as the Dundalk Post Office is more than 7 miles away from the Fort Howard community." 

"As you may know, many Fort Howard residents have submitted a petition to your office requesting at-home delivery. While homes in the nearby 21219 zip code receive at-home delivery, including some that are only one-tenth of a mile from the soon-to-be-closed Fort Howard Branch (see enclosed map), USPS does not currently provide at-home delivery to Fort Howard residents." 

"As such, we are requesting an update on USPS's plan to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the Fort Howard community. Specifically, we request additional information on USPS efforts to obtain a new lease in Fort Howard and conversations around delivering mail to residents via at-home delivery or cluster boxes. Given the incredibly short notice our constituents received about the closure, and their frustration with USPS's communication thus far, we also request further details on USPS's plan for informing Fort Howard residents in detail about the transition and long-term solutions moving forward." 

"We would appreciate a response on this matter by September 5, 2023. Thank you for your assistance."

For now, residents will be able to utilize the Dundalk Post Office for retail services between:

  • Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For lobby and P.O. Box access:

  • Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 1 p.m., 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday 6 a.m. - 1 p.m.
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