EAST GREENWICH — Local residents will soon have to adjust to a new place where they have to pick up and deliver their mail. But how soon is still yet to be determined.
Joseph Mulvey, the real estate specialist for the United States Postal Service (USPS), presented the Post Office’s plan to close the 19,000-square-foot location at 5775 Post Road, which houses both the retail services and a delivery carrier operation, and move the retail services to another location in town and the delivery carriers to the North Kingstown Post Office – which is approximately four miles south of the current East Greenwich facility.
Mulvey cited that there has been a 40-percent decline over the last five years in mail service, which has unfortunately caused a significant negative impact on the USPS’s infrastructure, as a major reason why the Post Road location is planning on shutting its doors.
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“The Postal Service receives no tax dollars and relies solely on the sale of postage product and services to fund its entire operation,” Mulvey said. “The Postal Service is in a very serious financial situation. It has experienced losses over the last several years. So every opportunity to reduce its expenses and generate revenue is being considered.”
If the relocation of the retail services is approved and a replacement space is located, Mulvey said the USPS would anticipate a sale of the existing property on Post Road. However, Mulvey assured the Council and the public in attendance that the retail services the customers currently receive would be available to the new location and the deliveries would continue to residents and businesses and there would be “no interruption of services.”
Mulvey said the reason the Post Office has not formally decided on a new location within East Greenwich is because the USPS wants to get the word out to the public and receive comments before the final project should go forward. He said that the Post Office is accepting written comments from the public and elected officials up until May 28 and they are to be sent to Mulvey at his office, located at 2 Congress St., Room 8, Milford, Mass., 01757. Mulvey also said there will be a 30-day appeal process and, after that has completed, the Post Office will then make the decision to pursue a new location in East Greenwich.
East Greenwich Town Council President Michael Isaacs, prior to Mulvey’s brief presentation, clarified that the Town Council does not have jurisdiction over the USPS’s plan to close the current location and that Monday’s discussion was not a public hearing, but rather the Post Office, he explained, is required to give a presentation to local officials and allow both Council members and the public to answer questions about the proposed move.
Patricia Norton, owner of Norton’s Marina, asked if she will continue be in possession of her Post Office box considering she does not receive mail delivery at Norton’s Marina and has to travel to pick up her mail, something she has done for many years. Mulvey answered her question with both a simple ‘yes’ and that the USPS is proposing to have 884 Post Office boxes at the new retail location – which, Mulvey said, would only need about 2,000 square feet for proper operation. Mulvey said the current Post Road location 966 Post Office boxes, a little over 700 of them are rented.
Robert Vespia, a resident of East Greenwich, asked if any certified mail that is brought back to the current East Greenwich Post Office if no one is home would be brought to the new retail location of if he would have to pick it up in North Kingstown. Mulvey responded that customers can come back to the proposed new Post Office location in East Greenwich to pick up the certified mail or oversized packages, but it would be available after 9 a.m. the following day.
Mulvey said the Post Office’s primary goal is to find a facility that currently exists and build it out to the needs of the USPS. However, no formal decision on a location will be made until a suitable buyer for the current Post Road building is confirmed.