Congressman Steve Israel (D–Huntington) called for an independent study to be conducted on the impact of any changes to the Northport Post Office during a meeting with USPS officials on Friday. USPS has done its own study, but will not release it to the public.
“Northport residents deserve to know how they would be affected should the post office be closed or relocated," said Israel. "I am calling for an independent analysis, so that this information is made available to concerned residents, unlike the results of the study done by USPS. This post office has been an integral part of the fabric of the Northport community, and I will continue fighting to make sure that the assessment process remains transparent and fair. ”
Related: Village Resolution Opposes Post Office Move
Representatives for Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand also attended the meeting alongside Northport Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin, Trustee Damon McMullen, and Huntington Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
“We need to know all the facts before making any changes to the post office," said Sen. Schumer, "and an independent study will provide the public and myself an unbiased assessment. There is no question that the Post Office needs to retool itself for the modern age, but we need to find a way to be efficient and keep the Northport Post Office downtown. This study will help determine the best way to do that.”
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
As it stands, USPS conducts a cost-benefit analysis reviewing the impact of all local factors before making any changes to a post office facility. This takes into account changes to both USPS operations and real estate properties. However, the results of this analysis are not made public for proprietary reasons determined by the USPS. By having its own independent assessment, the community can contest the USPS findings and offer alternative economic factors and data that the USPS might have overseen in making any decision impacting facilities on which local residents rely.
Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said he plans to submit a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the USPS study conducted during the summer. He added that the meeting with the post office officials was informational in nature, and that the USPS agreed to meet with the public sometime in November.
USPS Representative George Flood would not say if decisions affecting the Northport Post Office would be postponed until after the meeting nor would he say why the USPS is not releasing its own impact study to the public.
"Our work remains in the preliminary stages of consideration," said Flood, "and the Postal Service—as it does in all similar cases—will continue to work closely with all stakeholders as this process moves forward."