FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Speaking to a full room, state, federal and local lawmakers tried to assuage the fears of Southport residents when it comes to the possibility of losing the post office in the center of their village.
“I have heard the full range of rumors in terms of what’s happening in Southport,” Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau said at the public meeting Monday afternoon at Town Hall.
Accompanied by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, Tetreau said he hoped to abate the rumor mill and get to the bottom of what is happening with the local post office.
“The United State Postal Service has no plans to close the Southport Post Office,” Murphy said.
But the Postal Service will be rerouting the local distribution services out of the building to Commerce Drive in Bridgeport, he said. By Aug. 23, the mail carriers will be starting their routes from that office rather than coming from the Southport post office, Tetreau said.
“Southport is really a unique community and it shares something with other villages,” Himes said, adding that the post office acts as a center gathering point for the village. He suggested that the residents keep an eye on the lease, which is up for renewal in 2016, because that is when the post office might end up closing.
Himes later agreed with many of the residents at the meeting that getting from point A to point B in Fairfield County can be extremely difficult and time consuming, particularly in the winter, which could delay mail delivery in Southport.
Residents told the lawmakers that they are worried about the time it will take for mail trucks to get from Commerce Drive to Southport and the potential for late deliveries.
“Losing the Southport post office is almost like losing the Southport hardware store,” said longtime Southport resident Jan Perry. She and others described the post office as a huge part of the Southport community.
“It is part of the fiber of the community,” said Southport real estate agent Melanie Smith, whose office is directly across from the post office.
State Sen. John McKinney (R-Fairfield) said that if the post office were to close, it would be a huge inconvenience to the large number of people who use it to conduct daily business.
“It’s a great post office with excellent service,” McKinney said. “It just seems silly that they would consider closing it.”