USPS says it’s continuing search for new Zanoni post office site

U.S. Postal Service real estate specialist Vee Spikes told the Times Monday that he had no new information related to the $270,000 post office USPS proposes to open later this year in Zanoni. He referred future media inquiries to USPS strategic communications specialist Stacy St. John in Kansas City, who told the Times in a two-sentence email what was already known: “USPS is searching for an Alternate Quarters (AQ) location. A Community Contact Public meeting was held and the public comment period for the AQ process concludes on February 8th.” 

Zanoni-area residents wishing to propose a site for the new modular building USPS plans to bring to Zanoni are directed to contact Spikes at 309-664-4627 or; his mailing address is Facilities Implementation Team, 1211 Towanda Ave., Room 135, Bloomington, IL 61701..

 A hand-out shared at the Jan. 8 meeting at the Gainesville post office said USPS is seeking to lease a 8,500-square-feet tract of land in the Zanoni area that is “clear of all debris with access to water and/or electricity” where the modular building can be located. The hand-out said USPS is “seeking a 10-year Ground Land Lease Agreement (5-years with 5-year option)” where it can install the modular building, which would be open two hours on weekdays and four hours on Saturdays, operated by a USPS part-time employee who would earn $12 an hour, with no benefits, according to information shared at the meeting. 

Forty residents have Zanoni mailing addresses; since the closing of the Zanoni post office two years ago, mail to almost all of those residents has been delivered to roadside mailboxes from the Gainesville post office. 

After hearing from about 20 Ozark County residents who think the proposed facility is a wasteful use of taxpayer money, Ozark County Presiding Commissioner John Turner said he had emailed Spikes telling him the facility USPS is proposing for Zanoni isn’t wanted or needed. Turner said Monday he had not heard back from Spikes. 

The hand-out distributed at the Jan. 8 meeting, which was attended by four residents and a Times reporter, said that after the Feb. 8 deadline, “the Postal Service will consider the comments and appeals received that identify reasons why the Postal Service’s tentative decision and proposal is, or is not, the optimal solution for the identified need.” USPS then will “make a final decision to proceed with, modify, or cancel the proposal,” the hand-out said. “The Postal Service will inform the local officials in writing of its final decision, send an initial news release announcing the final decision to local news media and post a copy of the information in the public lobby of the Post Office. The Postal Service will then implement the final decision.”

In other postal service news, the cost of first-class postage went up Monday nationwide, bringing the price of a first-class stamp to 50 cents; postcard postage is now 35 cents.

Ozark County Times

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