Lease issue closes post office

Friday, Nov. 9, 2007

The Sunderland post office has closed its doors, perhaps forever.

‘‘Essentially, the lease ran out on [Oct.] 31, and the post office did offer them [land owner Curtis Litten] a month-to-month lease and he rejected it,” said Gil Otero, former Sunderland postmaster, who now works at the Prince Frederick Post Office.

The old site was a ‘‘prime location” but USPS can’t afford the rent, Otero said.

‘‘It’s just a matter of economics.”

Sunderland mail is now being routed through the Huntingtown Post Office. A woman who answered the phone at the Huntingtown office referred all questions to USPS spokeswoman Deborah Yackley, who did not return calls seeking comment.

But another spokeswoman, Luvenia Hyson, said the postal service is looking to open a new post office in Sunderland if they can find an affordable location.

‘‘The issue came [when] the lease ran out and we couldn’t come to an agreement with the owner so we had to leave the facility. We are looking into alternative access. We’re not sure where that’s at at this point,” Hyson said.

‘‘Were going to meet with some people in the area and try to come up with a location and see if it’s doable. We’re not really sure what, exactly, it would be, whether it would be another facility or a contract facility.”

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