Mail Delivery Restored to Falls Monastery

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM EDT

(Niagara Falls, N.Y) For close to fifty years, mail was delivered to the Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery on Pine Avenue without problems.

That was until the Monastery's Abbot, Father Nicholas Iuhos, noticed that mail trucks were 'chewing up' his gravel driveway by making 3-point turns.

When Fr. Nicholas found scratches and a dent on his garage door, which he suspected were caused by a mail truck, he asked mail carriers to stop using his driveway to turn around.

That was the last time Fr. Nicholas had mail delivered for close to a month.

"I called them and I wrote them - even the Postmaster General in Washington D.C. No results," says Fr. Iuhos.

The situation was causing a hardship for Fr. Iuhos, who is a diabetic and was not receiving his health insurance information. It was also causing the monastery to falling behind on its bills.

After several weeks of no mail delivery and no answers, the American Orthodox priest called Eyewitness News on February 1st for help.

Channel 7 contacted the post office to see what was going on. The Post Office issued this statement:

"The Postmaster of Niagara Falls has been in direct contact with Father Nicholas on several occasions attempting to resolve this delivery issue. The difficulty began when the customer requested postal vehicles no longer turn around in the driveway. In addition, snow in the driveway made turning around impossible.

Postal safety policy dictates that backing out of a driveway on to a road must be avoided. In this case especially, backing into a very busy Pine Avenue puts employees and vehicles at great risk.

We will continue to work with this customer until a reasonable solution can be found, one that satisfies the customer and keeps employees safe."

Now mail delivery service to the monastery has been re-started.

Father Iuhos says the day after he called CH 7, the Niagara Falls Postmaster drove to his house and apologized in person for the inconvenience.

An agreement was reached where mail trucks will turnaround at the end of the monastery's driveway.