by Terry Duffy
Look for some changes in local U.S. Postal Service operations, starting next month.
As part of a national effort to address deficits and operation costs in the Postal Service, over past months USPS officials have been considering structural changes, including staff changes, consolidations and even closure of facilities throughout the country. Postal facilities large and small have been under review, including many in the Buffalo area.
Reports to the Sentinel on Friday revealed that changes are coming in the form of Postal Service mail location pickups for carriers servicing the Youngstown delivery areas, starting Nov. 5.
Karen Mazurkiewicz, communications coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service in Buffalo, reported that backroom staffers currently handling mail for deliveries at Youngstown will instead work in Lewiston, and mail carriers working out of Youngstown will pick up their mail there. As a result, five postal carriers who had been getting their mail at the Youngstown Post Office for delivery to Youngstown zip code residents will instead start their day at the Lewiston Post Office on South Eight Street in the Village of Lewiston. The move is part of a Postal Service consolidation effort, Mazurkiewicz said.
"We have started carrier backroom consolidations. When it makes financial sense, we consolidate to other sites" by shifting personnel, she said.
"Delivery changes will be minimal," said Mazurkiewicz. She said notifications to postal customers would be coming before the move. "What we will be doing is the week before the change is sending out cards to all residents" informing them of the change.
Mazurkiewicz stressed that no other operations changes are in store at this time for the Youngstown Post Office. The facility will remain open with regular service hours for post box services and stamp purchases. "No other changes in Youngstown. At this time it will remain the same," she said.
As far as retrieving mail, she said that there would likely be some changes in what she called "accountable items" requiring the recipient to be on site to accept delivery. In those cases, Mazurkiewicz said, if no one is at home, those items would be returned to the Lewiston Post Office and be held there. The Youngstown customer would then either have to visit Lewiston or contact the Postal Service to arrange for special delivery to Youngstown.
As far as pickups of mail from customers under contact from their addresses, Mazurkiewicz indicated that changes to their respective postal service contracts will likely result.
Mazurkiewicz said other Niagara County service areas have seen or will face similar operations changes as in Youngstown. Postal carriers delivering to Wilson began picking up their mail in Ransomville last summer, she said, and Sanborn carriers are expected to begin their mail pickups in the LaSalle station sometime next month.
No other changes are in store at this time for any other post office facilities such as Model City, Niagara University or at Stella Niagara, she added.