Temporary Sanibel post office opens Monday, home delivery still in works
Thanks to a concerted citizen/public official push, Sanibel's temporary post office opens Monday.
Residents won't have to wait until late summer, as originally promised, after many frustrated by the commute to a south Fort Myers mail facility took their concerns to social media, island officials and local lawmakers.
Spearheaded by Mayor Holly Smith with insider help from the region's legislative delegation, the effort paid off with a Wednesday afternoon announcement that a mobile unit in the parking lot of the Hurricane Ian-damaged main building will open at 9 a.m. Monday.
"I can tell you, a lot of work went into getting this across the finish line and I could not be more proud of where we are and how quickly this was done ‒ there are lot of people to thank for that," Smith said.
The service restoration happened just in time for city’s the upcoming municipal election next month. Last week, Smith and City Manager Dana Souza were in Tallahassee so Gov. Ron DeSantis could sign an executive order allowing mail-in ballots to be forwarded.
Since the storm, many island residents who haven't forwarded their mail elsewhere have needed to trek to a Jetport Loop facility in south Fort Myers near the Southwest Florida International Airport, which can mean an almost two-hour commute, depending on traffic.
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The federal agency is also working to restore delivery routes, spokesman David Walton wrote in an emailed release: "The Postal Service is currently in the process of evaluating delivery points on Sanibel Island to determine the locations where we can safely resume residential and business mail delivery ," he wrote.
"Until then, customers can pick up their mail at the new temporary Post Office. Signage will direct customers to the appropriate location for various services."
The temporary facility will offer retail services and post office boxes, as well as mail, package, and P.O. box mail pickup, Walton wrote. It'll be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., closed Sunday.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: After full-court press, mail returns to Sanibel next week