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Future of Northport Post Office Uncertain

Postal Service mulls closure; Village officials lobby for continued operations.

Village officials are lobbying against United States Postal Service plans to close the and move operations to .

USPS representatives said Wednesday that they are considering a plan to sell the Northport building and transfer the 19 carrier routes to the East Northport Post Office, but that a retail location would be opened somewhere "in town."

Northport officials said that very little information about plans for the Northport location, announced to post office employees on Friday, has been provided by the USPS and that many points remain unclear.

Trustee Henry Tobin said he wants a better explanation of why Northport is being considered for closure, aside from the general rubric of "cutting costs." He was also unhappy with the inapplicability of an appeals process under the technicality that the plans are not necesssarily a "closure" because a retail store will remain.

He stressed the importance of the post office to businesses as well as the community at large.

"I think everybody believes that our post office, which has been here since the depression, has been a fundemental part of our community; not just for the village, but for the broader area...," he said at Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting. "It's one of the hearts of our village and I belive it's very important that we maintain it."

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Trustee Damon McMullen, a retired postal service carrier, said that it is unclear where a retail store might be placed, considering that the eligible postal district extends from Sunken Meadow Parkway to The Shack on 25A to parts of Pulaski Road.

USPS Representative George Flood said that the USPS wishes to downsize its footprint in Northport to cut costs. Just last quarter, the USPS announced a $5.2 Billion loss and defaulted on a payment to the US Treasury for future retiree benefits, according to an article in The Huffington Post.

He stressed that the plans are in the exploratory stages and that many "moving parts" need to fall in place before anything comes to fruition.

"As an example, vacating the existing post office at 240 Main Street will be contingent on the completion of the alternate location quarters retail space," said Flood. "In addition, a lease for alternate quarters will not be signed until a binding agreement is obtained by the Postal Service for the purchase of the property."

The village said that they have sought help from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Steve Israel and will continue to fight for continued operations at the Northport Post Office.

All those interested in learning more about plans for the post office are invited to attend a public information session organized by the village on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. in the .

DPP September 05, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Forget about defaulting on a 5.5 Billion payment towards retiree health benefits, the Post Office also lost 1.2 Million after printing 1 Billion Simpson Commemorative Stamps and then selling only 318 million of them. Unfortunately, this is how marketing genius like this is rewarded. D-oh!
liberal September 05, 2012 at 09:34 PM
we dont need it.save the money
Quick Tech Computer Repair September 05, 2012 at 11:49 PM
This would be a Travesty. I have dealt with the East Northport Post office for over 20 years. I have also been involved with direct mail for many of those years. The management staff in East Northport are by far the most incompetent group of individuals in the entire system. The people in Northport are very pleasant to deal with and intelligent. I guarantee if they close northport and the residents and businesses are forced to deal with east northport we all will regret it. I recently move my business from east northport to northport and it is like night and day.
kptree September 06, 2012 at 12:10 AM
@Txdenuff you don't believe that the USPS relies on taxpayer funds, do you?. Sorry, cutting Post Offices won't cut your taxes. It would be very sad to see the NPT PO go the way of the dinosaur. It's a great, old-fashioned, hard-to-see-disappear kind of place. Let's thank Congress, for in their infinite wisdom, they dictated in 2006 that the USPS pre-pay health care costs for future retirees. If not for that, the USPS would have actually netted over $1 billion in profits over this past 6 year period. Still, there is little to no way for the USPS to remain the size that it is. They need to look to the European models where they operate only a small percentage of the postal business. That is, if Congress and the USPS Board of Governors could actually see their way to allowing innovative practices, such as the USPS being allowed to operate their own fleet of planes, digitally sending letters without physical stamps, or turning digital photos into postcards, or anything else "outside-the-box". I won't hold my breath.
Old Fisherman September 06, 2012 at 12:56 AM
If they are looking for a store, what's wrong with the Gap Store which has appeared empty all these years?
GLENN HENDERSON September 06, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Amen! I'd rather buy my stamps at the Northport office or CVS than use East Northport. The new building was a complete waste of money because nothing has changed, in fact service has declined and they have only one speed called reverse. I have seen lines to the door and management doesn't care! I hope to GOD we don't lose our Northport office because to add it to East Northport will only make an existing disaster worse!
MG September 06, 2012 at 04:59 AM
I cannot imagine our town without it! Why? Why do we have to lose something we care about and rely on, daily and weekly? What a shame!!!!
Ken Wiebke September 06, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Close the relic and transfer excess personnel to East Northport. Raze the building for an enviornmentally friendly public parking lot to support local retail activity.
FYI September 06, 2012 at 02:52 PM
What exactly would a new USPS retail location provide? If we will have the same counter services that we have now along with mailbox availability, how would the closing affect our residents? Will it only move the postal carriers base to East Northport PO.? I think we need more information. How about it Patch? Or anyone else who knows?
Tony S September 06, 2012 at 06:45 PM
They close before anyone gets off of work and is able to get there. They have one person working during peak hours (makes zero sense). There is one man there who I won't name who from all accounts tricks people into spending more money on packages when they don't have to, and hate hearing that "now would you like any stamps, shipping confirmation, tracking, etc?" nonsense that they always include. No loss.
Old Fisherman September 06, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I never have any trouble parking except when the theater is operating. You may have to get off you know what and walk a few feet!!!
Carla September 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Time to trim the fat, let the outdated become reformed and more efficient government take hold. Now is also time to end the Northport Police Department and merge them into Suffolk, as they already are the go to authority for all serious crimes, and have special patrol as canine, arson, homicide servicing us. We can no longer afford the luxury of high priced village enforcers anymore.
DPP September 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Karl, Great idea! And as long as we're talking about needless PD's, close the under worked and completely useless, revenue generating only, Asharoken PD!
Arthur Frischman September 08, 2012 at 11:21 AM
This is what is wrong with our societies fiscal responsibility. Has anyone here heard of email, fax, FedEx, text digital signatures ... The basic fact is post offices are underutilized. Do we want to bring back phone booths? Trolley? Yea sure we miss them but we don't use them. Sell the building, let someone open a business that will generate employment and taxes. Post Office Bar and Grill.
ce September 10, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I would hate to see it go, strictly as an historic building. Honestly, though, there is always a line there, no matter what time of day. if there are three people ahead of you, you can count on a 20 minute wait. You could drive to East Northport or Centerport and back in that time. I also wonder about the PO Boxes. I haven't been notified, and they certainly take your payment in advance!
FYI September 10, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Hey Tony. I can't help respond to your attack. The employee you are denigrating is one of the nicest people you could meet. Yes, I tire of being asked each time if I need the list of items and if there is anything perishable, fragile etc.. I asked him why he says it each time and he told me that he is required to do so. Postal inspectors who could be on line at any time willl write him up if he doesn't follow the protocol. So allow the man to do his job well, as he understands it to be. As far as up selling, that's crap! You choose which way to ship. He just lays out the options for you. As far as the number of people working the counter, I share that frustration but the workers know it also and it is not in their hands to dictate staffing. It is the postal service management that sets staffing levels. So quit your bitchin and do something other than complain.
FYI September 10, 2012 at 08:03 PM
If you had to wait for a Suffolk County police car to respond to your 911 call, you'd be singing a different tune. I have no idea of the savings you would see but I think the majority of residents would prefer to keep the police department we currently have. EVERY time i have needed their assistance, they were here in 2 minutes. When I had an intruder walking through my home at 4 a.m, they were even faster. Granted, the economy sucks right now but you think Suffolk Police would bring a higher level of efficiency? Your assumption would be based on what figures?
FYI September 10, 2012 at 08:09 PM
My inquiries at the post office revealed that if this post office closes, the postal service would still have to open a facility with service windows as they exist now for the public. An equal number of mailboxes would be provided. What would change is that the carriers would report to the E. Northport facility at the beginning and end of the day for mail pickup and distribution. One concern is that the trips to East Northport would delay the delivery times of the mail here in Northport. Economically I would hope the postal service can justify in savings the reason for the move. From what i understand now, not much would change for the postal patron who goes to the new postal facility downtown. I'm certain there is more to it than what I've described so if anyone knows additional information, speak up.
DPP September 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Hey N'ptr, You couldn't delay delivery times as they are now in Northport if they went back to the Pony Express. I've mailed letters in the Northport Post Office to my own address, only to have them show up 3 or more days later. I never use the Northport for my mail unless I absolutely have to even though the staff is very nice. Go to Huntington Station if you want some hope that your mail will reach it's destination in time. Large drafty building, high energy costs, limited personnel etc. etc. means its time to close and sell the building to someone in the private sector who can convert the building and grounds into something which can be utilized 7 days a week and still keep the historic nature of the building. Lets face it, this post has been up for a week and there are only 18 comments. No one is beating down the doors to save it.
FYI September 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
now who's the critic karl?
FYI September 13, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Never had the problems in mailing delays you've mentioned. Maybe it's your handwriting... Driving to Huntington Station makes as much sense to me as mailing a letter to myself from the post office. Leave your letter in your mailbox for the carrier. ;-)
Lolo September 17, 2012 at 08:50 PM
The issue is not just one of the need to reduce redundancy and create efficiencies...much of the problems of the USPS were created when the federal government made them a quasi-private entitiy...but the fact is that the USPS is depended on by the community; especially small businesses, our seniors and those that are disabilty challenged. the USPS should not be an entitiy that is evaluated based on profit and loss. It is an essential government service and should be fully funded by the federal government. To those that say just "shut it down", I can only assume you are able-bodied, can drive and have the time to go to East Northport. But what about your fellow citizens?
DPP September 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I guess you've never mailed a card or letter to a family member or perhaps that thought is beyond the realm of your thinking and one thing for sure, it's not my handwriting. I have to say, your good with the excuses. That usually comes from experience. If service in Northport is so bad that I have to leave it in my own mailbox, then your making the argument for me. The post office has fallen far behind private carriers and it's only going to get worse. East Northport and Centerport are as close or closer than the Northport PO is to a good percentage of Northport residents. For that reason alone, it doesn't make sense to keep it open.
steve September 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM
The Postmaster at the Northport Post Office is totally useless ,when ever we have a concern he just blows us off seems to busy to answer our questions. I'm sure he wouldnt do that to the letter carrier he seems to be dating.
RICHRACER January 18, 2013 at 02:07 AM
The worse case senerio of corporate takeover of our rightfull guarantee of mail service, by Government/corporate greed, with a union that is hopelessly usless for their members and set up to undermind them. Their new contract will reduce their hourly wage by $6.00 an hour!! That's our New World Order Government in action. Hold on to your ankles. Here it comes day by day untill we reach that third world status.
RICHRACER January 18, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Well said. For profit Government will make us all economic slaves to the unfettered corporate nation of Wall Street and K Street and the city of London. Buy Gold before it's too late!

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