Hours of operation of Star Junction Post Office may be cut

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 4:05 p.m.

Residents that use the Star Junction post office will hear the results of a survey that would determine its future.

At 6 p.m. Feb. 20, the Postal Service will hold a public meeting in the Perry Township Fire Hall to release the findings of a survey conducted on post office operations.

The survey that was given to those who use the office listed four possible options for the post office.

The options included keeping the post office open with reduced hours; closing the post office and offering curb-side delivery; closing the post office and establish a village post office; or closing the post office and providing post office-box service at a nearby post office.

According to Tad Kelley of corporate communications for the Postal Service in Pittsburgh, the survey was distributed because in 2011, the postal service needed to significantly change its business model. The Postal Service is in the midst of mounting financial loss. The postal service announced its intention to study numerous, small post offices nationwide for possible closure as one possible cost-saving measure.

The Postal Service announced in May a strategy to preserve the smaller post offices by keeping them open with modified window hours to effectively keep 13,000 small offices open.

“At the same time, we are actively seeking interest from small businesses within communities who may wish to open village post offices — providing many of the products we serve at traditional post offices — to complement the plan,” Kelley said.

During the Feb. 20 meeting, Kelley said, the local postal management will share the results of the survey and answer questions from those attending.

While it's not known what the majority of surveyed residents chose for the post office, Perry Township Supervisor A.J. Boni has concerns if the post office has reduced hours.

The first issue, said Boni, is the inconvenience reduced hours will bring to the community, and that's not just with the many senior citizens that live in the area, but people who leave for work before the post office opens and return from work after it closes.

“It's going to be a big inconvenience,” Boni said. “I think they (the postal service) need to look at different avenues.”

Security is another issue for Boni. He said that the longer the post office building is closed with mail and packages inside that could contain prescription medication or electronics, it the more attractie it might be to criminals.

“We need to get the residents down there and have them explain why we need to keep a full-time post office,” Boni said.

Kelley said the Postal Service will make an announcement about its decision regarding the post office a few weeks after the community meeting.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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