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Fewer hours may hit Dunbar post office

| Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Like many of the smaller post offices in the Fay-West region being monitored by the Postal Service as part of its new POST Plan, Dunbar Borough opted by a large majority of residents to have the facility's hours realigned.

During a public meeting on Thursday, attended by approximately 30 Dunbar residents, the results of a survey sent out to more than 2,000 showed that their choice would overwhelmingly be a realignment of hours verses delivery, having a village post office or visiting neighboring post offices.

“I'm here to answer any questions that you may have and share your input,” Postal Service operations manager William Battles Jr. said.

After the postal service reviewed the surveys, recommended hours of operation for the post office were 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday with a lunch break from noon to 1:45 p.m., and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Also, the lobby would remain open during the lunch break for mail pickup, but the service window would be closed.

Dunbar Councilman Scott Dunn spoke on behalf of borough council, addressing their opinions on the realignment.

“About 20 percent of our residents are senior citizens, and about 20 percent are below the poverty level,” Dunn said. “Driving five miles to Connellsville may not seem like a lot, but it can be if you are elderly.”

Dunn was referring to post office options referenced to in the survey, showing the nearest post offices to Dunbar and their approximate distance. It was also noted there are many families who live in the mountain area and those families would have to drive even further.

Battles assured residents that there is no intent at this time to close any of the 67 post offices being looked at in these surveys.

“We are not closing any post offices,” Battles said. “Your voices have been heard on that, but you have to understand, we have to do something.”

Dunn said although there may be some disappointment voiced in the decision to modify the hours, he feels the residents will be happy the post office will remain open and in the borough.

“The most important thing is that the post office remains open,” Dunn said. “We think it's important to have a post office in Dunbar, and when council discussed this in January, the realigning of the hours seemed to be the best option of the options that were given to us.”

Battles said the residents will be informed of a final decision in the coming weeks, with a posting at the post office.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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