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Temporary mobile post office awaiting approval

Updated 1:08 pm, Friday, January 10, 2014

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  • The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that the New Canaan post office is moving to 90 Main St., previously the home of Comina, a furniture and accessories store. The post office will offer regular postal services and the post office box mail will at this location starting Jan. 21, 2014. Photo: Nelson Oliveira / New Canaan News
    The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that the New Canaan post office is moving to 90 Main St., previously the home of Comina, a furniture and accessories store. The post office will offer regular postal services and the post office box mail will at this location starting Jan. 21, 2014. Photo: Nelson Oliveira

 

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The New Canaan Post Office is moving to a temporary location at 90 Main St. on Jan. 21, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday.

The post office, which has been at 2 Pine St. for more than 50 years, still hasn't found a permanent site in town. Operations on Pine Street will shut down Jan. 18.

While regular postal services and the post office box mail will be at the Main Street location, retail services will be offered at a "very temporary" mobile unit somewhere downtown, according to USPS spokesman Christine Dugas.

First Selectman Robert Mallozzi said the mobile unit, which he described as a "UPS-size truck," likely would be across the street from the current post office location -- by the drop-off mailboxes on the corner of Park and Pine streets. The location is pending approval from the New Canaan Police Department.

Dugas said it would take about three weeks for the Main Street location to be ready to offer retail services. She said the postal service still is committed to finding a permanent space for the post office in town.

"We're looking very hard," she said. "We continue to make every effort we can to find a permanent location in New Canaan."

After almost two years of failed negotiations, the lease for the Pine Street location will end Jan. 31. Mrs. Green's Natural Market, an organic grocer, already has signed a lease with Elm Street Partners for the 2 Pine St. location.

Even if there is a deal for a new permanent site within the next few days or weeks, it would still take up to two months to "postalize" that space, Dugas said. By that, she means the post office would have to consider factors such as loading and parking capacities, insurance needs and water availability.

"These include factors such as foot traffic, number of rented post office boxes, and ability to provide appropriate work space and security for our operations," Melissa Lohnes, another U.S. Postal Service spokesman, said in December. "Our negotiations for a site may also include factors such as the willingness of a new landlord to provide modifications or regular maintenance to a location as well as fair market pricing for our needs."

The hours at the Main Street location will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The trailer will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dugas encouraged residents who live near the Camp Avenue post office in Stamford to use that location. The post office at 24 Camp Ave. has a self-service kiosk for 24/7 retail service.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson