Officials from the U.S. Postal Service sent word Friday they want to rid themselves of the building that houses the Derby post office.
However, that same notice also states the Postal Service wants to keep front counter service somewhere in downtown Derby.
“The most important thing for readers to know is that we are not taking postal service away from Derby,” said U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas.
The post office, at 74 Olivia St., is 12,000 square feet. That’s more space than the Postal Service needs.
In an effort to boost revenue and increase efficiency, the cash-strapped Postal Service hopes to sell the building — after sending postal carriers who currently work in Derby to Shelton.
The Postal Service is looking around Derby for about 1,100 square feet of retail space so Derby customers could continue to buy stamps, send packages and access their post office boxes.
Dugas stressed that if the Postal Service can’t find a buyer for the Olivia Street building, there will be no changes.
An official statement from the Postal Service is posted below.
In a press release Monday (March 4), Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri said he met with a real estate specialist from the Postal Service Feb. 28 to discuss the Derby post office’s “downsizing.”
The mayor said he’s working to make sure any changes won’t disrupt Derby postal customers. He stressed the post office is searching downtown Derby for a smaller space to serve Derby customers.
Staffieri said the change gives the city a chance to add businesses to its tax rolls.
“This underutilized building can be sold for retail/commercial space and add to our tax base downtown. I will work in partnership with the USPS to ensure that we have everything we need for postal services right here in Derby,” Staffieri said in the statement.
A letter from the Postal Service to Derby is embedded at the bottom of this article.
Dugas also pointed out the Postal Service could end up in the same spot they’re in — if a new buyer takes the building and leases part of it back to the Postal Service.
It all depends on the economics of any deal, Dugas said.
Rick Dunne, executive director of the Valley Council of Governments, said he has reached out to federal officials, including U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s office, to find out more information about the notice.
“I don’t know for sure that it is going forward,” Dunne said. “The plan, if it goes through, won’t have significant economic impact other that there will be an empty building until it is presumably sold or leased by the postal service. The plan, as we understand it at this point, does not call for a reduction in employment. It just says they are going to move the carriers and the sorting operation to under-utilized space in Shelton.”
The Postal Service needs to save money — last November it reported an annual loss of $15.9 billion, according to this CNBC story. Last month news broke that the post office wants to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, for instance.
The USPS statement: