Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
The impending historic post office closure is now in the hands of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Gail Z. Adams, PRC communications specialist says, “The Commission [Postal Regulatory Commission] does not decide whether an individual facility will remain open or be closed. The purpose of the appeal process is to determine whether or not the Postal Service followed the proper procedures and considered appropriate factors in closing the post office . . . .” Individuals wishing to appeal may submit their concerns to Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20268-0001 or by email.
The “Final Determination Letter” said, “the advantages [of closure] outweigh the disadvantages.” The letter also indicated that on October 28, 2011, 634 questionnaires regarding “proposed alternative service” were distributed to downtown customers and available over the counter. A response was received from 229 individuals. Of those individuals, 1 was in favor of the alternative service proposal, 81 responses were unfavorable, and 147 expressed no opinion.”
Some long time customers of the Fernandina post office are mourning the impending loss of postal service in the historic downtown post office. Many post office box renters whose daily routine is a trip to the downtown location, will chose between moving their box to the Sadler Road office, or selecting home delivery. Businesses and individuals are giving up box numbers that have been held for decades and some held for generations.
“Paradise Screwed: Fernandina Beach post office to close August 10,” by Steve Hutkins, a professor who teaches “place studies” at the Gallatin School of New York University, remarks that Fernandina’s historic post office is “one of the country’s most beautiful small-town post offices, and the closure and subsequent sale of the building will be a real loss to the community.” The Fernandina Observer is yet to confirm that the historic post office is or has been for sale.
Hutkins is the administrator of the www.savethepostoffice.com website dedicated to providing “information about the post office closings and consolidations that are taking place, the historic post office buildings that are being sold off, the efforts people are taking to protect their post offices, and the things citizens can do to save their post office when it ends up on the closure list.”
Although conflicting information from postal authorities is being received as to the August 10 closing, Stephen Wyman, local post office representative, confirmed the August 10th date.* The last day of operations will be August 9. Wyman said that current employees at the facility will be reassigned, and that post office memorabilia and artifacts on display in the lobby will be transferred to the Sadler Road Branch.
Books Plus located on Centre Street, provides post office services. All business except for post office boxes and money orders, can be handled at the Books Plus location.
Editor’s Note: Sam Bolen, Corporate Communications for the USPS Southern Area, called to report the earliest date for closing is August 10. If a “formal” appeal is filed, the closing date will be in September. Formal appeals are generally filed by an attorney.
July 11, 2013 3:55 p.m.
The post office building is a tangible cultural asset for the community. I hate to say it, but the US Postal Service is going down the tubes and Congress is not supportive, so we would be better off working to save the building with an alternate use. I wish that the company that is moving to Amelia Island and is going to build a new building on A1A, taking down more trees, I wish that they would consider refurbishing this building and using it for their headquarters.