frederica_wilson_2.jpg(Florida International University) – Liberty City residents gathered last week in hopes they’d hear the recently closed Edison Post Office could somehow re-open. But they learned the best they could expect is probably a mobile unit that would offer the full services of a post office, with the exception of selling money orders or a scaled down facility at a local food bank offering some postal services.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, and recently appointed U.S. Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman told some three dozen people at a meeting on Saturday that they hope the Curley’s House of Style food bank will offer postal services at its 6025 NW Sixth Ct. location.

But they could not say when that might happen and what people who depended on the Edison post office on Northwest 62nd Street should do in the meantime. The only other option is the Buena Vista post office on Northeast 39th Street which, at nearly 2.5 miles away, can be daunting for those who don’t drive and the elderly.

“About two years ago, they decided to close the Edison branch,” said Wilson, elected in November to the seat vacated by former Rep. Kendrick Meek when he ran for the U.S. Senate. “It’s hard to stop and turn it around but there are options.”

Stroman, appointed in April to the U.S. Postal Service’s number-two spot, echoed Wilson’s sentiment, saying USPS is “in the most serious financial crisis it has ever been” and shut down facilities where officials believe customers have alternatives.

That didn’t sit well with Cheryl Nemrod, 61, who has lived in Liberty City for 50 years and doubts postal services will be available at Curley’s or anywhere else nearby.

“All these promises may fall by the wayside,” she said. “Anything positive here usually doesn’t last.”

Stroman and Wilson said they’ll work with Curley’s to help it become what’s called a “contract postal unit,” a privately owned facility with a USPS contract to provide postal services.

CPUs, as they are called, can sell stamps, offer express mail, accept parcel post packages, insure mail and provide other basic services. But they don’t sell money orders, which many Liberty City residents use to pay bills, or rent post office boxes.

The officials tried to put the best face on the situation.

“We want to work with this community to find alternatives,” said Stroman.

Added Wilson: “The ball is already rolling on this. If they renege on their promises, then we are going on a bus to Washington.”

Giovanna Maselli may be reached at