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Senator seeks answers on Douglas P.O.

Posted: May 18, 2012 - 12:09am

With the Douglas Post Office in limbo, neither facing imminent closure nor guaranteed to remain open, its advocates are seeking answers.

One of those, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has been pressing the U.S. Postal Service for answers.

So far, she hasn’t gotten any, and local officials don’t know much either.

“As of this point we have had no word,” said Postmaster Susan Johnson of Juneau, who is responsible for the Douglas Post Office as well.

The Douglas office saw an outpouring of community support after it and other Alaska offices were slated for closure. It later got a five-month reprieve, ending this month.

Then, the Postal Service announced it was not currently being planned for closure, but said that numerous other small offices would definitely be kept open.

That left Douglas, as well as four other Alaska post offices, including three on military bases and the Anchorage Postal Store in “limbo,” Murkowski said.

This week the senator sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe seeking to clarify the situation for Douglas and other affected communities.

“I believe interested parties deserve to have some certainty about the future of these facilities,” she said.

Murkowski said it was welcome news to know that none of the offices are likely to close for the time being, but said she additional information was needed.

“Please advise how long the USPS’s closure proposal will be on hold, what other possible actions you may be considering, and what process the USPS will follow if it decides to begin the closure process again,” her letter asked.

The Postal Service this week also begin the process of closing more than 100 mail sorting hubs made unnecessary by declining mail deliveries. None are in Alaska.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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