By Alyssa Schnugg
A recent sinkhole at the Oxford Post Office may provide an opportunity to right a wrong created more than 20 years ago.
According to Cameron Stubbs, chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues, when the post office on McElroy Drive was constructed in 1998, then-Attorney General Janet Reno sent a letter to the city of Oxford informing city leaders that they had no jurisdiction over the construction of the facility.
The city of Oxford cannot fix ADA problems on the property since it is a federally-owned building and that has allowed the parking lot to remain one of Oxford’s “most unfriendly public facilities.”
When the post office was constructed, the two front door accessible parking spots were placed on a significant incline and sloping spot in the parking lot making entry up the isle difficult for people needing to park in those spots.
On April 30, a large sinkhole opened up in the back portion of the parking lot at the post officer, swallowing an SVU that was unoccupied at the time. No injuries were reported; however, the parking lot will need major reconstruction.
The Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues is sending a letter to U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy requesting that the United States Postal Service change the location of the accessible parking spots to the east side of the building where the parking lot is flat.
“Very recently, a massive sinkhole developed in the parking lot of the Oxford Post Office, and, as a result, your facility will likely undergo some major repair work,” the letter states. “This will bring construction crews and funding to the facility, and we believe that this is the perfect opportunity for you to make right such a longstanding wrong.”
The Oxford Board of Aldermen and Mayor Robyn Tannehill gave their blessings for Stubbs to send the letter to DeJoy during their regular board meeting on Tuesday.