A U.S. Postal Service representative said this week that claims that the Sanborn Post Office might close are just rumors. However, she admitted that Sanborn, like other post offices across Western New York and the nation, could be considered for consolidation.
Karen Mazurkiewicz, Western New York communication coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service, said consolidation does not affect customers, but only backroom operations.
Meanwhile, State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, has started an online petition, which encourages local residents to oppose consolidation of the Sanborn Post Office with the LaSalle-Niagara Falls Post Office, saying that he believes consolidation would be a "prelude to closing the smaller post offices." He also has contacted local members of Congress about the issue.
"We have no intention of closing the Sanborn Post Office," Mazurkiewicz said. "Consolidation is on the table for every post office in the country."
With the rise of Internet use and loss of more than 20 percent of mail business, the Postal Service is facing an $8.5 billion deficit this year, she said, and is therefore looking at ways to cut costs. However, the Postal Service is not allowed to close post offices for only financial reasons.
If Sanborn should be chosen for consolidation, its carriers would collect and sort their mail from the LaSalle office before delivering. This means only one truck would have to be sent from the central sorting site. Retail staff would still be available and customers would be able to have boxes, buy stamps, drop off packages, etc., at both offices, Mazurkiewicz said. Zip codes remain the same.
The Kenmore office was consolidated last year and the Ellicott Street office in Buffalo was part of a consolidation about two months ago. Customers don't notice the change, she said.
So far, she added, the Postal Service has never laid off an employee, but has assigned any extra people to other places they are needed.
Maziarz wants to make sure there's no possible closing for the future for the Sanborn office.
"Sanborn is like the dead center geographic point of Niagara County. It's a very busy post office," he said, adding that it serves the area of most current growth in the county -- Cambria, Pendleton, Lockport and Wheatfield. He also noted that the Sanborn office serves not only residents and businesses in the area, but the Niagara-Wheatfield School District, Niagara Orleans BOCES and Niagara County Community College.
The Sanborn office is located at 2901 Niagara St., in Sanborn. The LaSalle office is at 9860 Niagara Falls Blvd., in Niagara Falls.
The online petition may be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/sanbornpostoffice/ or by going to Maziarz.com.