Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, right, and ARA President Andy Gilpin speak with residents about saving the post office.
Photo by Marcy Velte.
ALPLAUS Concerned Alplaus residents and elected officials met on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to brainstorm ways to stop the closure of their 89-year-old post office.
Postmaster Kathy McGarry Boyle said she received a letter from the United States Postal Service on Nov. 2 stating that the Alplaus location was slated to close by Jan.6, even though the location is profitable. Residents were outraged at the news and more than 50 residents packed the upstairs of the Alplaus Fire House to share their ideas.
Alplaus Resident Association President Andy Gilpin called the meeting, along with starting a petition and local letter writing campaign in hopes of getting the attention of USPS officials.
“Historically the ARA has stood up to support the post office and to try to find ways to save it,” said Gilpin, adding that the letters have helped to reach elected officials to start a dialogue with them.
This is the third time the Alplaus location has been slated to close by the USPS since it opened in 1922, according to Boyle. Once was in 1973 when the location went from a union-led post office to a contracted station, and again in 2000 because of budget issues.
Residents fought to keep the location open each time, but now the slated closure is for different reasons.
In an email from USPS spokeswoman Maureen Marion to Gilpin, it was explained that the Alplaus location — along with 19 other post offices throughout the country — is slated to close because of a contract negotiation between the clerks union and the Postal Service.
“This is not negotiable at the local level nor is it a decision that can be overturned,” said Marion. “For that reason, attending a public meeting could raise a false hope. We have been mandated to move forward and we will.”