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Concerns about Montpelier’s post office rise as temperatures drop

November 3, 2023

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » VTDigger

Postal employees have been operating out of temporary locations since July’s flooding shut down the federal building. But the temporary sites — which are actually postal trucks — have no heating and the plan to replace them is unclear.

MONTPELIER — Since the July floods shut down the city’s federal building, local residents have repeatedly expressed concerns about the lack of a fully functioning post office, and about the conditions faced by postal workers who are left to staff temporary locations that have no heat.

After several location changes, the office now operates out of a parking lot at 367 River St., nearly three miles from downtown. The road to the mobile unit is often filled with traffic, leaving many Monteplierites with more obstacles reaching their “post office,” which is actually two postal trucks that store mail for the 800 to 900 Montpelier post office box patrons. The mobile site doesn’t sell stamps and accepts only pre-paid mailings.

This week, Vermont’s Congressional delegation took up the fight to get Montpelier a full-fledged post office.

In a letter sent to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Peter Welch, D-Vt., joined Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt. in demanding deadlines for the action.

“We write regarding the unacceptable response by your agency to serious worker safety concerns and service disruptions following the closure of the Montpelier Post Office, caused by the devastating summer flooding in Vermont,” the delegation wrote.

Noting that the mobile units have no source of power, heat or lighting, the delegation called the set-up “completely unacceptable.” Further, they said, they understood there were plans to shut down the mobile units by the end of this week, “with no stated plan to reopen services in Montpelier.”

“This abandonment of your employees and customers is completely unacceptable and must be rectified immediately,” the letter stated.

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