After makeshift location closes, Vermont’s capital is left without a post office

Steve HutkinsBlog, News

vtdigger.org: Montpelier’s post office has been operating out of temporary locations since July’s floods damaged the city’s federal building. The latest location, which consisted of postal trucks in a parking lot on River Street, closed Friday, leaving Montpelier without a post office entirely.

“As the weather gets colder we’ve opted to close our temporary trailer operation and relocate PO Box customers to the nearby Barre Post Office,” Stephen Doherty, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, said in an email.

The closure of the post office’s temporary location, which was already a 10-minute drive from the city’s downtown, came after Vermont’s congressional delegation raised concerns in an Oct. 31 letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about the safety of the postal workers working without heat or electricity.

In the letter, the delegation set several deadlines for the Postal Service to provide Montpelier with a functioning post office, which called for a plan by Nov. 3 and a new location to open no later than Nov. 13.

The city of Montpelier has suggested some locations for the post office in downtown Montpelier, however, the U.S. Postal Service and General Service Administration, which ultimately decide on the post office’s future, have not responded, City Manager William Fraser wrote in a post on Front Porch Forum.

“I don’t know what their long- or short-term plans are,” Fraser told VTDigger on Friday. “I’m really in the dark as much as any other resident of Montpelier is.”

Federal law dictates that the permanent closure of a post office involves a community process, which includes a 60-day notice of a proposed action, so people can provide comments and evaluate any future plans. However, temporary and emergency locations are exempt from this process.

According to Doherty, the U.S. Postal Service’s real estate team is actively looking for a location in Montpelier.

“Once the real estate team has a signed lease, we’d be able to establish a reopening timeline. We’re not at that point yet,” Doherty said.

After makeshift location closes, Vermont’s capital is left without a post office – VTDigger