BELMAR, NJ — There will be far fewer mail trucks traveling back and forth from Belmar along Main Street to Avon-by-the-Sea and Bradley Beach.

The United States Postal Service this week returned all mail operations to both Avon and Bradley Beach’s home post offices, after several years of consolidating mail delivery for both towns at the Belmar Post Office did not work.

While the goal of the consolidation at the larger Belmar facility was to reduce costs, it instead resulted in an endless litany of complaints from Avon and Bradley Beach residents over delayed or no deliveries, missed or lost mail and other service issues. To add insult to injury, both the Bradley Beach and Avon post offices remained open, but used solely as retail and mail pick-up locations.

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U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th District), who pushed to restore basic delivery services to Avon and Bradley Beach, thanked USPS for identifying solutions for those" who have suffered extensive delays and other delivery mishaps" after the consolidation.

“Residents have endured years of delivery delays or mistakes.  After I hosted multiple meetings with key postal officials and local residents, the USPS was, thankfully, persuaded,” said Smith, whose district includes all three municipalities. “I am optimistic that the decision to reopen delivery operations at the local facilities will ensure better consistency, efficiency and reliability once and for all.”

After several years of discussion between Smith and USPS officials — as well as a “turning point meetings” with residents and borough officials in May 2018 — the decision to ultimately restore delivery operations at each local post office was announced in August 2018.

The plan was initially to take effect in November 2018, but the date was pushed back when the USPS reported it needed more time to hire and train at least five new employees — and a new start date was set for January 22.

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