LOCUST GAP - A U.S. Postal Service official confirmed Friday the Locust Gap Post Office that sustained weather-related damage in January will not reopen because the owner has chosen not to renew the lease.

Robert L. Varano, manager of operations programs support for the U.S. Postal Service in Harrisburg, said a meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Locust Gap Fire Company, 266 Marshall St., to discuss the future delivery of mail in the village.

"The lease holder (Ed Sebastian) has exercised his right to terminate the post office lease, which expires June 30, 2014," Varano said. "A postal representative will meet with Locust Gap residents to discuss establishing the most cost-effective way to provide mail delivery."

Varano pointed out there is a long, drawn-out process involved with permanently closing a post office that requires the U.S. Postal Service to take various measures, including meeting with residents affected by the closure.

In a letter sent to Locust Gap customers, Varano said, "We are considering a possible change in the way postal services are provided in your community. Our tentative plans will only lead to a formal proposal if we are satisfied that a maximum degree of regular and effective service can be provided."

He added, "We value your opinions during this review process and would like to give you an opportunity to discuss service alternatives."

Varano said due to the emergency suspension of the Locust Gap Post Office at 274 Main St., residents of the Mount Carmel Township village will continue to pick up their mail at Mount Carmel Post Office, 1 S. Hickory St., Mount Carmel.

Locust Gap Post Office, which formerly was open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, has remained closed since Jan. 27, when water pipes in the building froze and burst, damaging the facility.

Trevorton service

Varano also said a meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Trevorton American Legion to discuss a reduction in window service hours at Trevorton Post Office, 801 W. Shamokin St.

"We are going to reduce service from 7 to 6 hours per day during the week in Trevorton and we want to get feedback from the residents on which hours they prefer the post office to be open," Varano said.

The current window service 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. Those hours will remain the same.

Varano explained that 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.

He noted window service was reduced last year at post offices in Locust Gap and Paxinos.