A door which has been out of order for months has been causing problems for some Emporians.
An ADA-accessible door at the Emporia Post Office which is supposed to open automatically when a button is pressed has not worked for what some citizens believe is quite a long time. The issue is causing hardship for locals who rely on the ease of access to use the post office.
Lloyd Steinshouer said he first noticed the door was roped shut about three months ago. As a P.O. box holder, Steinshouer said he frequents the post office.
“I do have difficulty entering and exiting our post office building,” he said.
Steinshouer said he relies on his tripod cane or four-wheel walker to help him get around due to balance issues. While the exit door is accessible from the outside of the building, the door is difficult to open while maneuvering his assistive devices. He wonders how people in wheelchairs or scooters can manage.
Steinshouer said he spoke with the local manager about the issue several months ago, and was told at that time a work order had been submitted for repair. Three months later, he said he wondered why the door had not been replaced or propped open to allow easier access for disabled patrons.
“My simple question is: Why has the door not been fixed for some three months?” Steinshouer said. “I am sure other handicapped folks have difficulty also.”
When contacted by The Gazette, local postmaster Harry Gifford said he could not make a comment to the media. USPS Corporate Communications Field Agent Brian Sperry said they were unaware of the issue and would look into the matter.
“Attempts to repair the door by USPS maintenance were unsuccessful, so we are now in the process of hiring a contractor for the repair work and expect to have it completed soon,” Sperry said afterward in a written statement. “In the meantime, our employees are happy to provide access assistance. Customers should contact the Emporia Post Office at 620-342-3701 to make arrangements. The Postal Service sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience.”
Sperry said a contractor is scheduled to look at the door this week.
Steinshouer said he was hopeful the issue would be resolved soon, too. He said he doesn’t blame local post office employees for the issue, and understands the wheels of government can move slowly.
“Otherwise the manager, the staff at the counter and our carrier do a great job and are very courteous,” he said.