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Mail woes cause headaches for businesses in the Commerce Industrial Park

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OGDENSBURG — Two business managers are speaking out about the mail delivery changes at the Ogdensburg Commerce Park.

In order to streamline its delivery process, the Ogdensburg post office has changed its delivery schedule to accommodate residents over businesses in the light industrial park. Businesses that used to receive mail earlier in the day now receive it late in the afternoon.

But just how the switch in delivery times will streamline the process is unclear. Several calls to the Ogdensburg post office eventually were redirected to a regional center.

Attempts to reach a representative in the regional office late Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

It sounds like a simple switch, but it’s no small matter for those who rely on the mail to arrive daily as part of their business.

Marlene Chappel, manager of the International Corporate Center, 812 Proctor Ave., said Tuesday she relies on the morning mail delivery to process orders and deliveries in her warehouse.

“We are a shipment center. We do package deliveries and help handle shipments and post office boxes for Canadian customers,” she said. “We need to get the mail early in the day to be able to complete deposits” and other business.

She said the changes in delivery add to pressure already placed on small businesses in the state. “It’s difficult to be a small business here, and not getting the mail on time doesn’t help,” Ms. Chappel said. “They said they are trying to be more efficient. But almost 80 percent of residences get their mail later in the day.”

Deanna Smith, center manager at Lincare Inc. respiratory specialists, 835 Commerce Park Drive, said that on one occasion the mail did not arrive until 5 p.m.

“We only have one person after 4:30 p.m.,” she said. “We need to process our communications early in the day.”

While Lincare’s prescriptions usually come from mail order services, patient documents and bills to insurance companies are all processed through the U.S. Postal Service. A delay in mail delivery could mean a delay for customers, she said.

As of Wednesday, Ms. Smith said the delivery resumed its previous schedule, but she was informed by postal workers that the move would be only temporary.

Ms. Chappel said she has spoken with the Postal Service and its headquarters in Washington, and filed a formal complaint to Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in the meantime.

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