Asbestos Shuttered Alpha Post Office Has Unclear Future

Alpha, New Jersey’s post office was closed after the discovery of a possible asbestos contamination at the facility, and the public was not informed of a date for reopening.

Days after it initially closed on May 20, 2008, the post office voiced concerns over asbestos at the facility, but later assessments claimed that the only problems were mildew or a possible mold infestation. The building’s owner denied any mold problems, claiming that the pictures used as evidence showed moss.

Satish Bhayani, partner in Hemper Associates, which owns the property, said, “Photographs show it’s a superficial moss, not a mold problem.”

Cleanup efforts at the facility were in sore need of assistance whether the problem was asbestos, mold, mildew, or moss. This lack of aid was slowing the rate at which the Post Office facility could be restored, and decreased the chances that it would reopen as a post office at all. While closed, the Post Office had continued to make rental payments for the property. The problems in the building were found in the first of a five-year lease signed by the US Postal Service.

Even after fears of asbestos were allayed, the post office still did not reopen.

The slackening of the United States economy coupled with a decrease in revenues for the Postal Service indicated that the post office might not reopen, and there would no longer be a chance for the town of Alpha, New Jersey, to get its own ZIP code. Should Alpha get a ZIP code of its own, the Postal Service would require a post office in the town or to hasten the cleanup at the shuttered facility.