A longstanding mail carrier for Swan’s Island and Frenchboro has been restored to his position after he lost the contract over a dispute with the U.S. Postal Service.
For nearly three decades, LJ Hopkins delivered both mail and freight items to island residents. But last spring, USPS told him he could not combine the deliveries.
After Hopkins filed suit, the postal service amended the contract. But Hopkins’ attorney Keith Harriton says the ultimate victory was when Hopkins was awarded the position last Thursday.
“LJ’s service provides auto parts, it provides emergency medicines, and all the groceries that are sold at the only market that services both Swan’s and Frenchboro,” he says.
The owner of Swan’s Island’s general store Brian Krafjack says allowing combined mail and freight delivery is critical because the islands are too small to financially support a standalone service for either.
“As the store owner, we depend heavily on the freight service that’s stocked in our store, he says. “For the island, it means people can continue to get their prescriptions, they can continue to get everything else they’ve depended on LJ to bring.”
Hopkins’ postal service contract begins Oct. 17.