Laughlintown post office faces cuts to retail hours of operation
U.S. Postal Service Post Office Operations Manager William Battles Jr. met with two dozen Laughlintown residents last week to discuss the possible future of the rural post office.
The community meeting was part of the POST Plan strategy initiated by the postal service in September 2012 to preserve 13,000 smaller post offices throughout the country.
“The POST Plan is a strategy we have developed to maintain smaller post offices rather than close them,” said Tad Kelley, a spokesman from the postal service's Pittsburgh district. “It is the driving force behind all of the cost-reduction and rightsizing actions we have undertaken the past half-decade as we have seen mail usage and post office usage decline dramatically.”
A handout distributed at the meeting informed the group gathered at the Ligonier Country Inn in Laughlintown that future retail hours of operation at the post office would likely be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9 a.m. - noon Saturday. The decision was based on the results of a survey mailed to 370 Laughlintown customers. Saturday window service hours will not be reduced and access to delivery receptacles will not change as a result of the realignment of weekday window service hours.
Residents in all of the 13,000 communities received a survey prior to the scheduled meeting, requesting a preference for one of four options.
The option selected for future service in Laughlintown, although not final, was made after reviewing the 230 surveys returned. It will also take into account the postal service's operational needs.
The Laughlintown survey indicated that 80 percent or 185 customers, preferred a realignment of hours option.
A second option offered home delivery which was preferred by only 24 customers.
Five customers selected the village post office option — the post office would be located within the existing community in a retail shop, local library or town hall. The village post office would be run by the management of that business.
Only five customers opted to pick up mail at a nearby post office — Ligonier Post Office is located 3.2 miles from Laughlintown while the next closest locations would be Jennerstown at 7.3 miles and Gary at 10.9 miles away.
Tina Yandrick director of operations at the Ligonier Valley Historical Society said she is glad the post office will remain open. “I want the post office to stay in Laughlintown. It is a convenience for local businesses like ours when we need to send out bulk mailings,” she said. “The Laughlintown post office offers easy access with level parking and no steps. That is important when you are taking boxes in for shipping.”
Yandrick is concerned about reduced hours at the retail window, however.
“At times it could be difficult to meet the 1 p.m. closing time, especially when we are preparing our newsletters or grant applications on deadline. This will force us to go elsewhere to get it mailed by the end of the day. And that takes us away from the office.”
The Laughlintown post office has been serving customers from Rector since 2005, after the U.S. Postal Service suspended operation at that post office — run out of a century-old home owned by Ida Ankney Tenney — after Tenney terminated the post office's lease.
In 2010, the Postal Regulatory Commission examined the Rector post office and 96 others that were also put on emergency suspension since 2005 because of lease expirations. At that time, Kelley said reopening that office was a long shot because of the sagging economy.
Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Burrell students embark on educational adventure
- Springdale puts limits on adult businesses
- Penn State New Ken celebrates ‘Unity Day’
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- Pens get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Daily Courier roundup: Southmoreland boys edge Mt. Pleasant
- Now a Patriot, RB Blount’s thrilled to have moved on from Steelers
- Measles warning issued to Connellsville
- Plum’s 1st property tax hike since 2006 could reach 6.2%
- Corps asks more input on nuclear dump plans