‘Filthy’ postal stations south of CR466 could prompt heat being turned up on janitorial contractor

“Filthy” postal stations south of County Road 466 in The Villages had a member of the Project Wide Advisory Committee threatening approval of a janitorial contract.

Community Development District 10 Chairman Don Wiley on Wednesday presented a thick pile of photos of postal stations in Community Development Districts 5 through 11 to show that dirt, bugs, cobwebs and wasps nests are plentiful at the facilities.

He pointed to the drinking fountains that are covered with cobwebs.

“I wouldn’t take a drink out of it,” said Wiley, a resident of the Village of Hillsborough.

Postal deposit boxes are rusted at the postal station at Bridgeport at Lake Miona.

He said the postal stations are an ugly blemish in The Villages.

“This is supposedly one of the premier retirement communities in the world. I would be embarrassed to take somebody there,” Wiley said of the postal stations.

Bugs are visible on a light fixture at the Pennecamp Postal Station.

It was noted that what cleaning has been done through the years, appears to have been done with corrosive chlorine-based products. There is plenty of rust visible on the mail dropboxes at some postal stations.

In addition, dogs have long been a problem at the postal stations.

“We’ve got doggie bathrooms. We all know that,” said PWAC member Jerry Vicenti.

Frank Lancione, of the Village of Antrim Dells, said the uncleanliness of the postal station has been a hot topic in social settings where he resides.

“I am a glad to see you are doing something about it,” he said.

Sam Wartinbee, of District Property Management, said the janitorial contractors are supposed to wipe down bulletin boards and water fountains, as well as get rid of bugs. Individual mailboxes are supposed to be maintained by the U.S. Postal Service, or by the residents who use them. 

Wartinbee conceded that postal stations attract bugs because of the bright lights at night. The postal stations see such heavy usage at all hours, therefore janitorial work has to be performed at night. He also said the janitorial company has had trouble attracting employees.

Dead bugs are visible on a ledge at the Dunedin Postal Station.

“Right now the biggest challenge those companies have is manpower. They can’t find the people to do the work,” Wartinbee said.

He added that one of the pressure washer companies that had been used quit unexpectedly. He said District Property Management has been “scrambling” for the past 45 days and is down to one pressure-washing company.

Wartinbee pledged that he and his staff would stay on top of the situation.

PWAC Chairman Peter Moeller called the situation and Wiley’s report “a wakeup call.”

In the end, Wiley moved that the janitorial contract be approved, but board members and staff indicated that performance would be closely monitored.

How does your postal station stack up? Send us photos at www.villages-news.com/contact us.

A light fixture is filled with bugs at the St. James Postal Station.