The fate of the State House post office now hinges on the outcome of a study being undertaken by the United States Postal Service (USPS), said USPS spokesman Dennis Tarmey.
The State Office branch is among the 31 postal outlets being evaluated for “possible discontinuance” out of a total of 330 in the Greater Boston area, Tarmey said. Nationwide, 3,653 branches out of 31,871 are being assessed.
Among the criteria for the study are the average workload of employees at each branch, as well as mail volume and the overall expense of running the facility. While Tarmey said the rent for the State House post office was likely nominal, he added that labor and other costs were factored into the branch’s overhead.
Tarney said customers would have a chance to participate in the study by filling out questionnaires that will be distributed to post-office box holders and made available to other customers at the counter.
Before any decision is made, the USPS will also sponsor a community meeting to further gauge the public consensus on closing the branch.
Beacon Hill resident Tony Schneider said the State House post office serves workers from that building and the McCormack Building, Suffolk University faculty and students and local seniors.
“If the [State House branch] were closed, the nearest post office would be half a mile away,” Schneider said.
State Rep. Ellen Story spoke in favor of keeping the State House post office open.
“The staff who work there couldn’t be nicer, and it’s used by all of us in the State House and the surrounding neighborhood, so I would be sorry to see it closed,” Story said. “I understand that [USPS] is experiencing enormous financial troubles, but I hope this post office could be spared.”
Meanwhile, State Rep. Marty Walz advised against closing the branch.
“The post office at the State House serves a wide variety of people, from government employees to local residents,” Walz said. “Its closure would create significant inconvenience since the nearest post offices are either downtown or on Charles Street. I appreciate that the postal service must cut back due to its financial situation, but I think closing the State House post office is an unwise choice.”