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 .