Hancock County post office closes over safety concerns

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A small-town post office in Hancock County has been closed until further notice as the Postal Service and the building owner debate who is responsible for bringing it up to standard.

The Charlottesville post office has been closed since Feb. 19 and there's no estimated date for when it will reopen, according to the Greenfield Daily Reporter. A letter taped to the building's front door says it's closed because of "unsafe conditions," including rodents and a lack of heating and air conditioning.

Postal Service spokeswoman Mary Dando said the location is closed temporarily in order to give the landlord time to address the safety issues.

"There are a lot of safety concerns," she said. "It's very old and in very bad repair."

The building is owned by Arlene and Bill Mize of Greenfield. Bill Mize said he was contacted twice by the Postal Service, once about the furnace and once about a leaking window, both of which he said were repaired. But he said he wasn't contacted before the building's doors were locked.

Bill Mize said it's the Postal Service's responsibility to maintain the property because it pays $300 a month in rent, which he said isn't enough for him to absorb the cost of maintenance. He's concerned the Postal Service will close the office indefinitely.

An employee had staffed the office for two hours a day, and the lobby was open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays for post office box customers. Dando said the employee has been temporarily moved to the Greenfield post office.

Customers have been instructed to pick up their mail at the nearby Knightstown post office.

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