Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ripton Post Office to close - or become something new

Once again our town's postal services face closing.

In this blog post I'll share the best information available as of this morning, July 23rd.  I welcome comments and corrections, as always, and will also follow up with new posts as events unfold.

The Ripton post office is to be closed by August 18th, as its current contractor is leaving.  As of that date "there will not be" a post office in Ripton. (Technically, it's not a post office, but a "contract postal unit".)

When the United States Postal Service (USPS) learned of Lisa's impending exit, they reviewed options for next steps.  These included:

  1. Maintaining the "contract postal unit" as is, by soliciting contract offers;
  2. Setting up a Village Post Office (VPO).  These are popping up all over the nation, with 322 at last count.
  3. Ending service in Ripton.

They deemed option 1 to be unsustainable, due to falling revenue for postal services.  #2 looked best, and the USPS is currently in talks with some (unspecified) Ripton residents to set that up.  A VPO would be similar, except that it would not provide retail services, such as selling stamps and supplies.  How a VPO handles packages is yet to be determined.

If a Village Post Office doesn't appear, we Riptonites will have to shift mail services down the mountain to East Middlebury's branch.

What do you think?

I base these notes on the following sources:

  • A notice from the East Middlebury Postmaster, Carol Bogen, dated only "July 2013".  It appeared posted to the Ripton General Store's bulletin board, and also as a letter delivered to my PO Box.
  • Phone conversation with Carol Bogen this morning.
  • " " " Tom Rizzo, also this morning.  Mr. Rizzo works in corporate communications for the USPS.

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