Rep. Adrian Smith weighs in on Grand Island post office relocation proposal

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) A controversial proposal to move the downtown post office in Grand Island, NE to the city's west side is getting a lot of attention.

Just weeks ago, residents voiced their frustrations with the change at a public forum and now that discussion is continuing in our nation's capital.

A controversial proposal to relocate the only post office in a town of 50,000 residents is on Congressman Adrian Smith's radar.

"I have heard from Nebraskans specifically folks from around Grand Island," Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) said.

The U.S. Postal Service may relocate its only office in the heart of downtown to a postal owned facility over three miles away. According to the USPS, the reason for the move is to save money.

"In the face of unsustainable deficits, the U.S. Postal Service continues to review all aspects of its operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency," said Brian Sperry with the USPS in a statement.

“Ultimately, the community won't be served as well by moving so far as is proposed," Rep. Smith said.

Rep. Smith penned the Postal Service a letter, reiterating the concerns of the community. He says he's unsure what impact he can make since the Postal Service is an independent agency.

“I am anxious to hear back from them," Smith said. "There are a lot of dynamics here, but ultimately, I hope that the postal service listens to their customers."

So, what exactly is the process the postal service goes through before making this big decision? According to these regulations, there are several steps they need to follow.

The public must be given 60 days notice of the proposed action. Grand Island residents have until March 30th to turn in public comments. After the public comment period, any final decision must be made in writing and made available at least 60 days before the move. Within the first 60 days of the decision, the public can submit an appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission. Smith says the public's input between now and March 30th is critical.

“I think it's important that citizens weigh in. Not only with me, but to the postal service as well," Smith said.

The Postal Service says there is no timeline currently for the move, but note their lease on the building downtown doesn't expire until May 2018.