Matinicus Post Office spared federal ax

By Shlomit Auciello | Nov 22, 2011
Photo by: Shlomit Auciello Residents of Matinicus will continue to be able to send and receive mail, and purchase postal supplies, at the island post office, after the U.S. Postal Service announced it was removing the island's facility from a list of those being studied for possible closure.

The Matinicus Post Office will remain open, after the U.S. Postal Service removed it from a list of approximately 3,700 slated for closure.

The Postal Service announced July 26 that it would study more than 10 percent of its 32,000 retail offices to determine whether they should be closed or consolidated.

Postal Service spokesman Tom Rizzo said Nov. 22 that the decision to spare the Matinicus, West Forks, Stoneham and Topsfield post offices in Maine was the result of "a thoughtful process." That process included statistical studies and customer comments.

"Our criteria were whether or not we are able to provide regular and effective service to that community," said Rizzo.

The Postal Service plans to replace those offices that will close with a new retail replacement option in the form of Village Post Offices run by businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores. The new outlets would offer only the most popular products and services, such as stamps and pre-paid packages that do not require any special classification.

Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, said he was pleased with the decision.

"I thank and salute the Postal Service for recognizing the critical nature of an island post office to the lives of the people on the island," he said. "The bad news is that 30 primarily rural post offices in Maine still face the ax."

Rizzo said in August that closing the offices could save the Postal Service $200 million a year. He said shopping habits have changed radically over the last decade, as a result of increased use of cell phones, email, social networks and other electronic media.

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