Proposed Shuttering of State House Post Office Draws Fiery Public Response

Nearly 50 Beacon Hill residents and State House employees were on hand last week at a public meeting to oppose shuttering the post office at the state capitol.

According to United States Postal Service (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. Nationwide, 3,653 branches out of 31,871 are being assessed. Among the study criteria are the average workload of employees at each branch, as well as mail volume and the overall expense of running the facility.

While the USPS pays no rent for the facility, Greater Boston Postmaster James Holland said the branch’s revenue has dropped from $357,000 in fiscal ’07 to $247,00 in fiscal ’11.

Secretary of State William Galvin was among those who spoke in favor of keeping the branch open at the Nov. 14 meeting at the State House.

“This is not just for the benefit of the community…it’s something greater than that,” Galvin said. “This is the place where government and legislature sits. I think it’s troubling that the average citizen wouldn’t have the ability to get mail into this building.”

State Rep. Marty Walsh also spoke in support of the branch.

A small business owner said he would likely forgo using USPS if the State House post office closed, instead opting for Federal Express, which, unlike its competition, offers home pickup for packages.

One worker at the State House branch said the staff offers customers a high level of customer service.

“We know these people by name,” she said. “Every time some has a question, we’re the ones they come to. Personal service far exceeds the revenue being brought in [by this post office].”

The USPS is accepting comments on the possible closure of the State House post office through Jan. 2. At that time, correspondence will be forwarded to Washington, DC, where the decision will ultimately be made, Holland said.

Interested parties can fill out a questionnaire available at the State House post office or send written comments to:

Mike Foley

United States Postal Service

25 Dorchester Ave.

Box 16

Boston, MA 02205

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