On the morning of Sept. 3 Sandi Pernal continued her drive to save the North Canton Post Office.
As residents came to send packages, buy stamps or check their post office box, Pernal asked those who hadn't already if they would like to sign a petition to save the facility.
"I am so opposed to this post office closing," said Ann Pawlina as she signed a petition. "It's devastating to lose it. It's such a charming part of our town."
Pawlina said she would have to consider her options if the facility does close. The United States Postal Service has offered to relocated P.O. Boxes to Canton Center and retain the 06059 zip code for those users.
After launching a study of the facility and hosting a public meeting in April, the USPS announced Aug. 27 that it had made "a final determination to close the office."
Residents have 30 days to appeal the decision by writing to:
Ruth Y. Goldway, Chairman
Postal Regulatory Commission
901 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20268-0001
The facility will remain open during the closing process and more details can be seen here.
Many have been fighting to save the facility since earlier in the year. About 75 people came to the postal service meeting in April, petitions have circulated and residents started a facebook page.
Pernal owns the building that houses the post office and is its landlord with Glenn Thomas. However, the two said their fight is not about the money but about convenience, community and history in North Canton. Thomas has even said he would gladly lower the rent if that would save the office.
They and others said the facility is an important part of their community.
According to a document the couple prepared for the April meeting, the roots of the post office in that part of town go back to 1826, when Dr. Benjamin Weed Jr. "dispensed both medicine and mail" from a building behind his home on West Simsbury Road.
In the ensuing years, mail service often moved to the individual homes of each postmaster, and in the 1950s Cherry Brook Grange #210 built the current building, winning a CT State Grange Community Service Contest for it in 1957.
In their effort to keep the tradition going, Pernal and Thomas gathered more than 100 signatures in the spring and are working on getting more. Pernal plans to sit by the post office again this coming Saturday, Sept. 10.
She admits that some people declined to sign, say it was useless to fight or wrongly believing the U.S. Postal Service is funded by taxpayers.
Richard Swibold is one who declined to sign the petition. He said while losing the facility will be an inconvenience to him, there are just too many other important issues facing the country.
"This is low on my priority list," he said. "It will be an inconvenience but is something I'm prepared to accept."