The Northport Post Office is staying put for now, an announcement that comes a little more than a year after federal officials stirred community outrage by revealing plans that included selling the downtown building.
The U.S. Postal Service, in an Oct. 11 letter addressed to Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), said there are no plans to "discontinue or relocate" the Northport Post Office.
"That's fantastic news," Northport Mayor George Doll said Tuesday. "The post office has been here for a long time and it is part of the village.
"It just helps keep the economy going down here," Doll said.
Last September, the postal service disclosed its plans to close the 240 Main St. site and find a smaller location for retail services. Carrier operations, which included 19 routes then, were to be shifted to the East Northport Post Office, 297 Larkfield Rd., about three miles away.
Soon after, about 150 people attended a public forum hosted by the Northport Village board of trustees, where dozens spoke against the plan. Many said the post office is a vital part of the village and must stay open. Northport Village officials passed a resolution opposing the proposal, and were joined by several other local and federal officials who expressed disapproval.
When asked Tuesday why the postal service decided to keep the Northport Post Office open, USPS spokeswoman Christine Dugas said, "We continue to examine our real estate portfolio on a continual basis and in this case it was decided not to move forward, so this project is on indefinite hold."
While lawmakers say they are happy with the news, they are still looking to the future, knowing that this issue might not be over.
"I'll continue to fight to ensure that this vital community resource stays where it is," Israel said in a statement.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), in a statement, said, "Our efforts has been successful so far, but that doesn't mean the work is done," adding, "With the postal service facing serious financial difficulty, the pressure to close, downsize and move post offices will continue, so we're going to have to stay vigilant."