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Postal Service to hold public meeting

The Broad Avenue branch of the Albany post office, shown in this file photo, is set to close Dec. 2, 2012. Postal Service officials plan a public meeting on the facility for Nov. 20 at Albany Technical College.

The Broad Avenue branch of the Albany post office, shown in this file photo, is set to close Dec. 2, 2012. Postal Service officials plan a public meeting on the facility for Nov. 20 at Albany Technical College.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting on Nov. 20 to discuss the slated closure of a century-old downtown post office facility at 345 W. Broad Ave.

The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Kirkland Conference Center at Albany Technical College, according to the USPS.

The downtown Albany post office had been set to close Dec. 2 as a part of costing-cutting measures by the Postal Service. The facility has recently been given a reprieve of sorts, with a six-month lease extension for the Griggs Building.

According to Stephen Seewoester with the U.S. Postal Service, officials will explain plans for the post office and also provide an opportunity for the community to comment and to seek possible alternatives, such as making the facility a contract postal unit. Seewoester said a contract unit, operated by an independent firm, could continue the facility with little change of basic USPS services.

For example, it would continue the sale of stamps and the handling of first-class mail. Only a few services of a USPS station, such as passports, are not offered at contract operations.

Seewoester said he was uncertain whether post office box holders would be able to keep the same boxes and numbers under a contract arrangement.

"I think the P.O. box issue would be an excellent question for the public meeting," Seewoester said.

According to Seewoester, choices for continued downtown mail service come down to either an independent contract provider or having no downtown mail station and relying on street delivery.

Frances Krack, leasing agent for the Griggs Building, has said there "several" private operations that have expressed interest in providing mail service after the USPS ends operation of the facility.

According to Krack, actual bonded postal workers could be employed to operate the post office under a contract arrangement.