Fate of Trevorton post office hours will be announced next week
TREVORTON - Mail users in Zerbe Township will have to wait seven days to find out exactly how their post office window service hours will change in the coming months.
Andrea Garaciolo, manager of post office operations for the central Pennsylvania district, will review feedback from 18 village residents gathered at a public meeting at the American Legion Monday; a decision will be announced Monday. The change would take effect in approximately three months.
The decision, which will likely be a reduction of hours from seven to six, was called a "slap in the face" by former Trevorton Postmaster Dave Swinehart.
Such a reduction of one hour might save $3,000, but it will be an "inconvenience for customers," he said.
Garaciolo said Congress mandated the changes and identified which post offices around the country were required to close or shorten their hours.
"At every community meeting, every customer feels the same way," she said. "If we didn't change it, we'd be out of business in two years. We should be out of business now with how much we lose."
Post offices can't compete with online billing and the Internet, she said.
Robert L. Varano, manager of operations programs support for the U.S. Postal Service in Harrisburg, said Friday it's a national initiative by the U.S. Postal Service to reduce the hours at post offices that don't have the workload to support 8-hour window service per day.
Garaciolo was joined at the Monday meeting by Shamokin Post Office's Postmaster Ernie Swaldi and supervisor Laurie Harman.
Out of 718 customer surveys mailed, 294 village post office users responded. Ninety-eight percent said they prefer a realignment of hours while only three people made no selection and four people preferred a village post office, she said.
Current window hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The post office also is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, which will not change. "Communities like to keep their identity. This plan helps us keep that and reduce costs," Garaciolo said.
Margie Deppen, who lives in Trevorton but works in Selinsgrove, said she often goes to the post office Selinsgrove because of the hours.
"It's convenient for retirees, but not for people who work," she said.
Tara Kluger said many senior citizens walk to the post office and also don't use computers.
"We're small, but we need our post office," she said. "Our post office and our carriers are important to us."
A meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Locust Gap Fire Company, 266 Marshall St., Locust Gap, to discuss the future delivery of mail in the village. The post office that sustained weather-related damage in January will not reopen because the owner did not renew the lease.