Amid furor over the proposed relocation of Northport's downtown post office and mail carriers, Rep. Steve Israel Friday called for an independent cost-benefit analysis of the facility and the impact of any changes there.
The announcement by Israel (D-Dix Hills) came after village and Postal Service officials met at his Hauppauge office. Israel's proposed study would be in addition to those already done by the agency, and he said he plans to explore legislation that would give municipalities the option to have independent analyses of all post office facility changes.
"This is too important to the fabric of Northport to take the word of the real estate expert in the post office in Washington," Israel said after the meeting.
Postal Service spokeswoman Connie Chirichello said in a statement: "Our meeting with local officials . . . was a constructive session that revisited our process and progress in the matter of proposed changes at the Northport Post Office." Chirichello offered no comments when asked about Israel's proposal.
Nationwide, the agency is tightening its real estate holdings as revenue drops.
In early September, the agency revealed plans to sell the 240 Main St. facility, find a smaller location in the village and move mail carriers to the East Northport Post Office at 249 Larkfield Rd. Residents and elected officials took issue, contending the downtown office is the heart of the community and aids businesses by attracting foot traffic.
Now, lawmakers are asking the plan be delayed and village officials want the agency's studies on its post office released.
Israel said Friday's meeting was about transparency and that postal officials "clearly" said the Northport plan "is not a done deal." The officials also indicated that further meetings would be held with village officials and the public, Israel's office said.
He also said he would ask Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to delay Northport plans until the proposed analysis is done.
Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said at the meeting that he supported Israel's actions. "I believe he is aggressively pursuing his responsibility and very strongly supporting our needs," Tobin said.
Tobin said the village is also seeking the agency's studies done on its post office.