New McCaskill Bill to Prevent Emergency Postal Suspensions



CBS St. Louis: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, along with Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, has proposed a new bill addressing post office closures.

The bill would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from using its emergency suspension process to indefinitely close post offices without notice to the community, opportunity to appeal, or a time frame for reopening or permanently closing a facility.

Five St. Louis-area post offices and 34 other Missouri locations would be protected under the new bipartisan legislation.

McCaskill said in a news release:

“These post offices are part of the lifeblood of our communities—a source of employment and a lifeline for commerce—and we can’t allow the Postal Service to balance its books on the backs of small communities by shuttering post offices where they’re often most needed, with little transparency or explanation.”  Read more,


GAO report finds rural postal service remains essential



West Plains Daily Quill: A top watchdog study completed at the request of U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, found that the Postal Service remains essential to rural communities, regardless of whether those communities have access to rural broadband services.

“This study shows what we already know to be true—that the Postal Service remains essential to Missouri’s rural communities, regardless of their access to other technologies,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor and senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service.

“There’s simply no substitute for the vital service our post offices provide— even as we continue to make important advances in rural broadband—and we’ve got to preserve and improve that service for the folks who rely on it most.”

“For North Dakotans in rural communities—whether they have access to high-speed internet or not—reliable mail service is a key ingredient to a successful business and staying connected,” said Heitkamp. “But too often, that high-quality service is not delivered—and that’s exactly what Senator McCaskill and I are working to improve. Today, we received the results of a Government Accountability Office study we requested which affirmed what folks in rural states have long known—that communities and businesses in rural areas depend on mail service regardless of their internet connection. By providing more clarity, we can make sure dependable mail service is prioritized in the rural communities where it is needed the most.”

The Government Accountability Office report examined the relationship between broadband access and use of the Postal Service in rural and urban communities. The report found that rural households without broadband access continue to rely on the Postal Service for more transaction and correspondence mail—and value this service for a variety of reasons, including fewer retail alternatives and a high level of trust in USPS services. The study also found that when rural households get broadband access, they do not reduce their use of the Postal Service.  Read more.  The GAO report is here.  (Photo: Evan Kalish)


Ocean City To Buy Downtown Post Office Property, But No Change In Use Expected In Near Future



Maryland Coast Dispatch: Resort officials this week approved the purchase of the downtown post office property in Ocean City for over $1.3 million, while allaying fears the pending sale could seal the fate of the decades-old facility in the future.

On Monday, the Mayor and Council approved on second reading the purchase of the commercial property at 410 Philadelphia Ave. that currently hosts the U.S. Post Office’s downtown Ocean City branch. In a separate ordinance approved on first-reading on Monday, the Mayor and Council set in motion the mechanism for paying for the property in the form of a bond sale in the amount of $1.35 million.

The bond, expected to be issued in December, would by paid off over a period of 10 years, the first five of which, at least, would be paid by the continued lease of the property to the U.S. Post Office. The property was made available for sale by the private owner whose husband passed and left it in his estate. The private owner currently has a lease agreement with the U.S. Post Office and that lease will be renewed for the next five years.  Read more.


New Stamford CT post office to open, replacing historic PO building



Stamford Advocate: Stamford, Conn.’s downtown will finally have a working post office after the previous one closed three years ago. The new U.S. Post Office at 550 Summer St. is set to open on Oct. 19, USPS spokeswoman Christine Dugas said. All P.O. Box customers will have their boxes transferred to the new location on the evening of Oct. 18.

The Summer Street office replaces the city’s historic post office at 421 Atlantic St., that was shut down in 2013 to make way for a Capelli Organization luxury housing development. That project, which will incorporate the historic structure, is under construction. Capelli recently announced the historic post office would be re-purposed as a food hall, similar to Urbanspace markets in New York City.  Read more.


Historic Morristown NJ Post Office back on chopping block, eyed as ‘centerpiece’ of town



Morristown Green: The Morris Street Post Office in Morristown, New Jersey, which the Postal Service tried to close in 2012 amid vociferous local opposition, is on the chopping block once again.

This time, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty envisions the century-old structure being reborn as the town’s “centerpiece.”

“It’s a great, historic building, an amazing site that should be the centerpiece of our town,” he said on Saturday. He declined to elaborate, however, saying it’s premature until the Postal Service spells out its plans.

The Postal Service is “considering relocating retail services” from the post office at One Morris St., according to a notice posted there. A public information session is scheduled for 6 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, in the seniors center at town hall.Postal Service spokespersons could not be reached immediately for comment.  Read more.