USPS is mum on plans to reopen Zanoni post office
Thursday, Feb. 8, was the deadline for area residents to submit proposals and offers for a site to be leased for the Zanoni post office “alternate quarters” being proposed by the U.S. Postal Service. But USPS personnel involved with the matter declined to provide any information about the USPS plan Monday.
USPS real estate specialist Vic Spikes, who presided over a public meeting here Jan. 8, said he was unable to speak to the media about the matter, referring the Times to Kansas City-based USPS strategic communications specialist Stacy St. John.
When contacted by the Times on Monday, St. John at first said that Feb. 8 was the deadline for “customer input” about the matter, not for site proposals. After the Times emailed her a copy of the materials distributed at the Jan. 8 meeting saying that Feb. 8 was the deadline for submitting site proposals and offers, she replied by email, “Unfortunately at this date we have nothing new to share.”
Paul Rose, who owns the building that housed the Zanoni post office from 1970 until USPS closed it under “emergency suspension” in February 2016, said Monday that he had withdrawn his earlier proposal to have the USPS locate the “alternate quarters” on his land. Spikes said at the Jan. 8 meeting that the new facility would be a modular 500-square-foot building equipped with a “self-incinerating toilet” for the USPS employee who would work there two hours a day during the week and four hours on Saturday. USPS planned to spend $270,000 to $280,000 to open the facility.
Rose said that, after hearing more about what USPS was planning, he withdrew his offer to lease land for the building because “I thought they were spending too much money,” he said.
Several other residents agree. Ozark County Presiding Commissioner John Turner said residents have told him the post office is a waste of money and isn’t needed. Zanoni resident Becky Mathews told Springfield News-Leader columnist Steve Pokin the new post office is “a stupid idea.” The commissioners have relayed those sentiments to USPS real estate specialist Spikes, but they said Monday they haven’t heard from USPS about its plans.
It’s not known how many other site-lease proposals, if any, were submitted to USPS. The postal service isn’t talking about the project – at least not to the media.
Materials distributed at the Jan. 8 meeting said that after the deadline, “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.”
Until then, Zanoni residents have to wait and wonder if a pricey new post office is coming to their community – whether they want it or not.