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Arnold, Parnassus post office branches could be closed

Chuck Biedka
| Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009

The Arnold and Parnassus post office branches might eventually close because of falling Postal Service revenue nationwide.

A Dec. 2 letter being distributed at the branches seeks customer opinion about closing the Arnold branch, at 501 11th St., and the Parnassus branch, at 360 Freeport St., New Kensington.

Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley said the service lost $3.8 billion in its last budget year that ended Oct. 31. As such, a consolidation and other actions are under way to streamline operations and make services more efficient.

The letter, bearing the name of Michael P. Hudak Jr., regional post office operations assistant manager, says that the workload has been reduced at the branches, and there are eight other postal branches within five miles of either branch.

The letter says that continuing to operate the Parnassus and Arnold branches "may not be warranted."

The New Kensington main branch is less than a mile from both.

The letter also tells customers where they can buy stamps at area supermarkets and some ATM locations.

Hudak's letter also includes a questionnaire that he asks customers to complete and mail to the Tarentum post office by Dec. 18.

It asks about the type of services used and if the customer passes another post office during business hours.

It says that if customers switch to a post office box at the main branch, their address won't change. Carrier delivery won't change, either.

Customers at the two branches on Friday said they would be unhappy.

Ginny Robson, of Parkview Drive, New Kensington, said she uses the Arnold branch because of its accessibility. She wonders if people at the two nearby Arnold low-income high-rise buildings also use the branch.

"This is so easy for me with the ramp and a handicapped parking place," said Robson, who walks with a cane.

"This is a perfect place for me. If they close it, it would be a blow for me."

Phyllis Johnson, of Arnold, want the Arnold branch to stay open because the branch has the "most wonderful window clerk."

"This is a bad idea," said Leah Buchanan of Leishman Avenue. "I talk to a lot of senior citizens. What about them•

"They cut hours, and now this."

Al Bordell, of Kimball Avenue, Arnold, said he was a mail carrier for 35 years.

"I wish they wouldn't close it," he said.

"No. Don't close the Parnassus branch," implored Letitia S. Stewart of Fifth Avenue, New Kensington.

"This is a terrible thing. I will try to organize my neighbors to oppose this," said Pamela Grinder, also Fifth Avenue.

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