ROGERS PARK — The coronavirus pandemic has strained an already shoddy mail delivery service in Far North Side neighborhoods, but help is on the way, according to local officials.
Eight new mail carriers are being sent to the Rogers Park area to help ease weeks-long delays in postal delivery and other issues with mail service, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Chicago) said Monday at a town hall hosted by WBEZ.
The reinforcements were announced after Schakowsky and other elected officials have been inundated with complaints about Far North Side mail service. Schakowsky said her office has received 150 complaints about the issue in recent weeks.
“People are not getting their mail,” Schakowsky said Monday. “This is just completely, completely unacceptable.”
Rogers Park, West Ridge and Edgewater residents have been complaining about inadequate mail service for years, with neighbors going weeks without mail delivery or having packages go missing.
Local officials have sought to address the problem and held a town hall in West Ridge with local post office leadership in February 2019. Postal officials vowed changes, but coronavirus has exacerbated the lingering problems.
Chicagoans have reported delays and long lines at local post offices since the summer. Some Far North Side neighbors have said they haven’t received mail in weeks, according to CBS 2 Chicago. Mail problems also have been reported throughout the city, including on the Far Southwest Side.
Several Chicago postal workers told Block Club earlier this year the appointment of a new Postmaster General also brought new protocols that are delaying mail delivery.
Several workers also became sick during the pandemic, which sometimes has meant unsorted mail has to be sent somewhere else for processing, slowing down delivery.
The pandemic has impacted virtually every industry, but Rogers Park’s mail woes preceded the coronavirus and require fixing, the congresswoman said.
“It’s fairly unique to our community,” Schakowsky said. “I understand that Covid is a problem, but this has been going on way too long.”
With the new mail carrier hires, Schakowsky said she expects progress on this issue this week.
If problems persist, Schakowsky says residents should call her office at (773) 506-7100. Individual complaints are forwarded to the post office, which has been able to remedy some situations, she said.
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