New Hartford Post Office on the chopping block - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Hartford Post Office on the chopping block


The U.S. Postal Service is running in the red and it's looking to close several eastern Iowa post offices to get back in the black.

One location is New Hartford's post office. It doesn't have a postmaster and there's been a decrease in mail the past couple years.

On Wednesday night, a crowd of about a hundred people met at the middle school in New Hartford and a passionate crowd may have brought an abrupt end to the meeting.

The mayor of New Hartford, John Anderson, says the two postal officials who spoke to the crowd, warned him that if things got out of hand they would end the meeting and after a letter was read by Representative Pat Grassley that's exactly what they did.

People from New Hartford were hoping changes would be coming to their post office to keep it open, but once the meeting started and the representatives from the postal service started talking, they realized there is little hope for saving it.

"From the beginning they weren't willing or wanting to answer some questions of how can we save our post office which from the stand point of the residents and a lot of senior citizens up there how could they keep the services here and that was not addressed. It seemed to be the big concern of the community," said Anderson.

The New Hartford Post Office has seen less mail and they are also missing a postmaster and that's two strikes against you if you're trying to stay open.

"With our current financial situation with the lost last year of $8.6 billion and currently losing $23 million a day we have to do business differently and it's going to look different and for a lot of people it is uncomfortable," said Thomas Allen, Post Office Operations Manager.

Right now some people in New Hartford get their mail delivered right to their home and others pick up their mail at the post office at their post office box. The U.S. Postal Service is proposing other options, which includes putting cluster boxes of post office boxes around the city.

Representative Pat Grassley read a statement written by his grandfather Senator Chuck Grassley, both of New Hartford. In the statement Grassley said the postal service needs to look at a variety of ways for cost reduction which would not disrupt service.

"Federal law, you can't just close a post office because it may be running at a deficit. I think the whole post office is running at a deficit so that is a very poor argument in my opinion," said Representative Pat Grassley.

Those we talked with say New Hartford's a proud community and since the floods and tornado they have moved forward, but the closing of the post office could be a huge set back.

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