Edgartown Post Office could open by Tuesday in Carnegie building

Edgartown officials said everything is in place for the temporary relocation of the post office.


Updated 5:30 pm, Monday

Edgartown town administrator Pam Dolby told selectmen Monday that pending final approvals the Edgartown Post Office could begin operating out of the Carnegie building some time Tuesday.

Ms. Dolby said that the holdup was a written agreement between The Preservation Trust, owners of the building, and Postal Service officials, which required approval in Washington DC.

She said as soon as the facility is ready to open to postal customers the town will send out a text message.
Ms. Dolby provided another ray of sunshine for those left in the lurch after the Edgartown Post Office was forced to close due to water damage associated with construction to add second floor apartments to the Post Office square building that housed it. The interior is already gutted and work is under way to reinstall walls, floors and insulation.

“I would anticipate that with the way things are moving that hopefully, optimistically we are back in the old renovated post office by hopefully, I would think, by the second week or third week of May,” she said. An earlier estimate was June 1.

Ms. Dolby said the Post Office is trying to get in touch with people who have medication waiting. She said the Post Office is ready to open in the library. “Mail is there; our signs are all up for parking.”

Monday morning, Edgartown and Post Office officials continued to work feverishly behind the scenes to open a temporary Post Office in the Carnegie building and restore the smooth flow of mail and packages to Edgartown Post Office customers. There were conflicting reports.

At 8:38 am, Monday morning, Edgartown information technology (IT) manager Adam Darack sent a text message through the town’s notification system that alerted customers of a halt in mail distribution at the Vineyard Haven branch.

“Neither VH nor Edg open for Edg mail or package pickup. Paperwork for getting old library open as Edg post office is in its final steps,” the message said.

Mr. Darack later told The Times that mail that would have been delivered on Monday was available for pickup in Vineyard Haven. All previously delivered mail that wasn’t claimed before Monday was being transported back to Edgartown.

In the lobby of the Vineyard Haven Post Office early Monday afternoon, a small line of people continued to pick up Edgartown mail.

The Times emailed USPS spokesperson Steve Doherty and asked him to confirm whether Edgartown postal customers could continue to pick up mail in Vineyard Haven.

In an email to The Times, Mr. Doherty confirmed that Edgartown officials have offered the Carnegie building on North Water Street as a temporary Post Office location until the branch in Post Office Square is repaired. The Edgartown branch closed on Friday, April 1 due to rain leaks.

“Currently there are a lot of moving parts to this and a lot of hands involved,” Mr. Doherty said.

He added, “Logistically there is some setup required so it will likely be a few days before we’re able to physically service customers from [the Carnegie].”

Mr. Doherty did not provide an update on Vineyard Haven service.

No opening date for the temporary Carnegie location has been announced.

The building, which houses the Edgartown Post Office and a branch of The Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, is undergoing renovations as Boston-based developer Charles Hajjar builds five apartments on the second floor.

Last week, Mr. Hajjar apologized for the sudden post office closure and said he will help fix the damage.

The Carnegie building is owned by the nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust. The Trust purchased the building in March, just after the Edgartown library moved into its new building adjacent to the Edgartown School.