SALLY SANTORA/For the County News
The building known to residents as the Mumford Post Office is on the real estate market. The U.S. Postal Service is proposing cutbacks to hours in Mumford, Pavilion and Piffard.
U.S. Postal Service
Three post offices to cut back hours
The United States Postal Service is considering reducing the retail counter hours at three area post offices, or perhaps closing or relocating them altogether, as part of the strategy to save money.
Mumford, Piffard and Pavilion Post Offices are under review and public meetings with the postal service are scheduled in each community next week. See dates, times and locations.
- Piffard Post Office Nov. 8 at Gullo Kitchen Designs, 7 p.m. (101 post office box customers. 531 street deliveries.)
- Mumford Post Office Nov. 9 at Mumford Community Building, 6 p.m. (280 post office box customers.)
- Pavilion Post Office Nov. 7 at the Pavilion Public Library, 7 p.m. (171 post office box customers. 988 street deliveries.
Though the USPS made the announcement six months ago to review hundreds of rural post offices, including the three in our area, it wasn’t until the keen eye of a Mumford customer found a notice last week on the bulletin board inside the post office, notifying customers of a public meeting to discuss the options for the local post office, that The County News and most people in the community were made aware of it.
Caledonia resident Kathy Fairbrother said she read the notice and took a picture of it so she could post it and spread the word of the community meeting by emailing it to friends. Next she called the Wheatland Town Clerk who said she was unaware of the possible action or the community meeting, but said she would notify the Town Supervisor Linda Dobson. The clerk at the counter replied that he didn’t know anything about it.
The options include reducing the retail counter hours in Mumford from eight to six hours a day Monday through Friday. Saturday lobby hours would not be reduced. The other three options include, according to the public notice, conducting a discontinuance study for the office, to offer roadside mailbox delivery through a rural carrier or the third option, conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually a local business, with whom the USPS contracts with to offer customers stamps and other retail products. The fourth option offers a discontinuance study for the office to relocate PO box service at another nearby post office.
For customers living in the Caledonia-Mumford area, they are all too familiar with the above options, and what it more than likely means for the future of the Mumford Post Office. In 2009 the postal service reduced the counter and lobby hours at the Caledonia Post Office only to close in entirely in 2010, despite public outcry at scheduled public meetings conducted by the postal service, in which they requested customer input.
The postal service says they will base their decision on the responses gathered through a customer survey, mailed to all homes with a Mumford mailing address. Additional surveys are available at the post office. Surveys were sent to customers of the Piffard and Pavilion Post Offices as well, and they are being completed and returned.
Wheatland Town Supervisor Linda Dobson says the USPS did not notify the town of the impending action at the Mumford Post Office. She also says that they did not communicate with the town when they closed the Caledonia Post Office and moved the sorting operations for those customers to the Scottsville Post Office. The supervisor said the increased truck traffic at the post office has resulted in parking and traffic problems.
“As a public official, I’m not happy. I am concerned about our senior citizens. I plan on attending the community meeting and I’ll make my statement,” Dobson said.
Since the Caledonia Post Office closed, Fairbrother says she uses the Mumford location at least twice a week and closing it would cause her significant inconvenience.
“I mail packages to family and friends all the time, as well as my regular home and an occasional eBay transactions. The nearest post offices (besides Mumford) are at least 15 minutes away from my home, and the high price of gas compounds this inconvenience. Taking away yet another local post office from us in such a short time is bad business, and a real slap in the face to our community,” said Fairbrother.
There are three post office locations within the Town of York: York, Retsof and Piffard. York Supervisor Gerald Deming is aware of the impending action at the Piffard Post Office and he plans to attend the community meeting. Like Dobson, Deming is concerned about the town’s senior citizens, who often walk to the post office.
“Post Offices on the list are all given the same options and it’s the community majority that will dictate the choice,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz , Western New York Communications Coordinator.
“Seven days after the public meeting is conducted, the results of the community input will be posted at the post office. If the community determined modifying hours is the best option (which most have), the new hours of operations will be posted at least 30-days before they go into effect.”