USPS still silent on proposal to reopen Zanoni post office
A month after the public comment and site-solicitation period closed in the U.S. Postal Service’s proposed plan to reopen a postal facility at Zanoni, the agency has not yet released the promised announcement about whether – and where – the new facility will open.
The proposal was announced during a Jan. 8 meeting at the Gainesville post office, when U.S. Postal Service real estate specialist Vee Spikes described the $270,000 post office USPS proposed to open later this year in Zanoni – after it found a suitable site there for the modular building.
Spikes invited Zanoni-area landowners to submit a proposal for leasing land for the new post office, which would be open two hours weekdays and four hours on Saturday.
At the meeting, Spikes acknowledged that only one site bid had been submitted so far. It came from Paul Rose, who owns the small building where the Zanoni post office had operated for decades until USPS closed it under “emergency suspension” in 2016. Later, after hearing more about what USPS was planning, Rose withdrew his offer to lease space for the building because, he said, “I thought they were spending too much money.”
Several area residents agreed, and the issue drew attention from Springfield media. After hearing from about 20 residents, Presiding Commissioner John Turner contacted USPS to say the new post office wasn’t wanted.
The public comment and site-solicitation period for the proposal ended Feb. 8. Since then the Times has contacted USPS strategic communications specialist Stacy St. John in Kansas City to ask when an announcement about the plan will be issued, referring her repeatedly to a handout distributed at the Jan. 8 meeting here. It said USPS “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.”
Contacted Monday, St. John said again that she had no updated information about the proposal but had forwarded the Times’ latest email query to the appropriate USPS official. She hadn’t heard back from that person yet, she said.