WINFIELD — Winfield is on track to get its postal substation returned, but it will take several months before it's stamped a done deal.
Mary K. Dando, strategic communication specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, said there can be no movement on a petition drive to re-establish a substation, called a contract post office, until after Sept. 20.
That's because the American Postal Workers Union secured a Memorandum of Understanding in its 2015 contract which said the U.S. Postal Service could not expand contract postal units through Sept. 20. The move was done in part to defend the integrity of customer service, the union said.
Once the moratorium has passed, there will be a 30-day formal process for selection of a new site. Local businesses interested in sponsoring the site may apply. Postal officials would then inspect the selected site, she said.
The WiseWay grocery store at 10839 Randolph St. is interested, according to a letter of intent from Brett Gargano, vice president of retail operations for WiseWay, sent to the U.S. post master.
"It made sense for the post office to move to our grocery store because we are next door," Gargano said. Winfield residents would be able to mail letters and packages from the substation but will still get their mail delivered from the Crown Point post office on Summit Street.
Winfield had a postal contract post office in the former Fagen Pharmacy for a number of years, but the post office was removed when CVS Pharmacy bought Fagen late last year.
Town and township officials have been working since then to get it restored.
"Winfield doesn't have a post office at all, which is a step back for us," said Clerk-Treasurer Richard Anderson. "The biggest issue for the town of Winfield in the last 10 years is an identity issue. The recent loss of the town's postal substation spurred the latest effort."
Winfield Township Trustee Paulette Skinner has spearheaded the petition drive.
In late June, she sent officials, including President Donald Trump, a petition of 2,548 signatures of residents and customers supporting the return of the office.