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Yantic Post Office might not reopen

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published April 16. 2012 4:00AM
Already closed for more than two months because of 'security' issue, the tiny site could be shut for good

Norwich - The future of the shuttered Yantic Post Office remains in limbo, subject to a nationwide moratorium imposed by Congress on which post offices should be closed.

The tiny Yantic Post Office wasn't slated for closure until it was closed indefinitely on Feb. 6 by an emergency "security" issue. Norwich police are conducting a criminal investigation into the undisclosed incident or issue.

The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that it has a comprehensive business plan to reduce annual costs by $22.5 billion by 2016 to address a 25 percent drop in first-class mail volume since 2006. But the plan would require congressional action to reach the full savings. Without changes in laws governing postal service practices, the service could lose $21.3 billion by 2016. The postal service receives no tax subsidies for operating costs.

Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion said last week that the emergency situation thrust the Yantic Post office into consideration for permanent closure, and also placed it under the national moratorium on closures requested by Congress.

That moratorium will be lifted on May 15, she said, and postal officials plan to contact Yantic customers for input on whether the Yantic Post Office should close permanently, reopen at its current location or at a new site. Customers first will be surveyed and then the postal service will conduct community meetings in Yantic to hear from residents.

"We can't do any of that until the moratorium ends," Marion said.

The Yantic Post Office closed suddenly at the end of business hours on Feb. 6. Customers arriving the next morning found notices in the windows and on the door stating that the building would be closed indefinitely for safety and security reasons. All 230 post office boxes were transferred to the Bozrah Post Office 1.2 miles away, and the lone employee in Yantic was transferred to Bozrah.

Postal officials and Norwich police have declined to comment on the security issue that prompted the closure.

"The Postal Service continues to work with Congress to seek comprehensive legislation to reform and improve the Postal Service business model," the press release stated. "To return to long-term financial stability and to avoid burdening the American taxpayer, the Postal Service requires an urgent legislative remedy this fiscal year."

c.bessette@theday.com

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