Fire Destroys Winthrop ME Post Office and Its Contents

SteveBlog

Maine NewsOfficials say a fire swept through the post office in downtown Winthrop, destroying both the building and the pieces of mail that were inside.

Crews say the blaze began around 9 a.m. Tuesday. A clerk saw a ceiling tile fall and smoke began spreading through building.

Everyone safely evacuated, but fire officials say flames consumed the building within minutes.

Town Fire Chief Dan Brooks says faulty heating equipment in the ceiling may have started the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

The U.S. Postal Service says there is no timetable for resuming operations.

Source: Read more.

(Photo credits: Fire at Winthrop PO; Winthrop PO)

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Fort Pierce FL finds buyer for historic Orange Avenue post office

SteveBlog

TC Palm: After two years and five offers, city officials finally sold the historic post office building at the northwest corner of Orange Avenue and Fifth Street in Fort Pierce, .

The City Commission on Tuesday accepted the $139,000 offer from Fort Pierce residents Stanley and Jean Synkoski for the half-acre lot at 500 Orange Ave. that the couple plans to turn into a food, beverage and retail center featuring local goods.

“We want to capture the essence and the energy of the downtown Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market, but put it in a building seven days a weeks,” Stanley Synkoski said Friday.

Construction could start this summer, said Stanley Synkoski, who has 40 years in the hospitality industry and is a partner in a group that operates food, beverage and specialty retail products n airports.

The retail center would sell beach apparel, jewelry, arts and crafts from local artists, handmade candles, home décor and stationary, according to city records…

The 82-year-old, two-story building with the entrance facing Orange Avenue has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2002 for its architectural significance….

The city purchased the property for $100,000 from the U.S. Postal Service in 2002.  Read more.

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Closing Laurie, MO Post Office Is ‘Unjust And Unfair,’ Alderman Says, As City Officials Contact Lawmakers

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LakeExpo.com: City officials are trying to bring back a post office to Laurie, Missouri, but a local postmaster says it might be a lost cause.

The United States Postal Service closed the Laurie Contract Postal Unit on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and all post office box mail for the city was moved to the Gravois Mills post office, eight miles away.

“The impact is unjust and unfair,” Alderman Jeff Chorpening said, in the Tuesday, Feb. 14 board meeting. The city has sent letters to state and federal representatives and senators asking for assistance in reopening the unit. As of the Tuesday meeting, they had not heard anything back from elected officials….

Laurie has had a contract postal unit (CPU) since 1961. 

A CPU is a supplier-leased site operated by the supplier, under contract with the USPS. Bryant’s Osage Outdoors had hosted the postal unit for five years, but elected not to renew their contract in 2017, due to being unable to renegotiate a raise in the percentage they were paid to operate the unit….

According to Gravois Mills Postmaster Pam Payne, nothing can be done. “A moratorium was placed on CPU’s in July 2016,” Payne said. “It was accepted by Congress and we are a federal entity. This means no ‘new’ contracts can be approved.”  Read more.

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Help Save the Lihue Post Office

SteveBlog

Historic Hawaii FoundationThe post office in Lihue, Hawaii, is on the Hawai‘i State Register and the National Register of Historic Places.  The Postal Service is now planning to “relocate” the post office and sell the building.

This is the first stand-alone post office on Kaua‘i built in 1939.  The original proposed design, a Depression-era mission-style fortress, was met by a storm of protest by Kaua‘i citizens led by postal engineer Floyd Williams, who successfully championed a redesign. The revised design was the architecturally popular Spanish mission revival style prevalent in the 1930s. The post office is one of 3 Mediterranean-style buildings in the town core constructed during that decade.

It took 10 years from the time territorial senator Charles Rice introduced a resolution to the U.S. Congress to provide funds for a new post office until Līhu‘e Post Office’s dedication in 1939.  According to members of the business and local community it is an integral part of life in Līhu‘e and complements efforts to enhance and grow a walkable downtown area.

Closure of Līhu‘e Post Office was announced via a Public Notice posted on January 23 in the lobby of the building located at 4441 Rice Street.  The notice solicited public comments on a proposal to end postal operations at that facility. A follow-up message later clarified that the proposal being considered is to consolidate USPS retail operations currently located at 4441 Rice Street with our USPS Carrier Annex facility at 3230 Kapule Highway.

A “Save Our Post Office” effort has begun.  Read more.

Update: There’s more on the Lihue post office relocation here.

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Carper requests GSA review of Old Post Office lease

SteveBlog

Dover Post: U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, and Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Ranking Member Tom Carper, D-Delaware, sent a letter to General Services Administration Inspector General Carol Ochoa requesting a review of GSA’s management of the lease with the Trump Old Post Office to develop and manage the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“Since President Trump took the oath of office, the Trump Old Post Office, LLC appears to be in breach of the plain language of the lease agreement,” the letter read, in part.

“Despite the warning signs from members of Congress and ethics watchdogs, GSA chose not to take any action to address or enforce this provision of the lease or the other steps to mitigate the difficulties the lease creates for GSA and other government officials who oversee management of the agreement. Your office is in a unique position to review GSA’s management of the lease of the Old Post Office Building and identify any potential missteps.”

The senators reminded Ochoa that the GSA IG office has previously led reviews of matters of significance, including audits of the Public Buildings Service’s lease administration practices.  Read more.

(Photo: Trump Hotel)

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