It’s about more than just mail. For some, it’s about losing business.
When the United States Postal Service announced it would be looking into closing several post offices nationwide, residents who use post offices in the areas recommended for closure began coming together throughout the Capital District and in other parts of the country to defend their hometown post office and the address connected to all mail for their business for many years.
One of those business owners is Laura Harbour, a co-owner of Harbour Roads and Kal-Harbour, Inc., has been using a postal box at the post office on Broadway in Menands, in the 12204 postal district, for over 46 years. For 22 of those years, her businesses has been using the address on that postal box for all incoming communication that has to do with her business.
Every piece of marketing all goes to that post office box, Harbour said.
If the post office does close, Harbour said, her paving and excavating business would have to inform every client who knows the business through their P.O. box and inform them that their address is changing on top of changing all of their materials to reflect their new address.
`It would be an administrative nightmare,` she said.
Harbour said that `For us to even consider a change of address is just ridiculous,` and that to change the address would be bad for her business.
Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners attended a press conference where residents could talk to representatives from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s and Representative Paul Tonko’s office about their concerns if the post office closes on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
`It’s a one-person shop down there and the big problem that the community faces is for the people that need the services the most,` Conners said on Friday, Nov. 6.
Conners said this post office is convenient for Menands residents who walk to the post office or might not be able to drive to the next nearest post office in Kimberly Square.
While Conners said this post office technically is already in North Albany, other Albany post offices are located inconveniently from Menands businesses. More importantly, Conners said this post office is doing well so there is no reason to close it.
`You have a large number of businesses who are using that post office, so it’s a station that’s actually efficiently well run, it’s making more money and it flies in the face of common sense to close it,` Conners said.
Should the post office close, the plan would be to move the postal boxes to another location, Conners said. Conners also said that five post offices are being targeted as being considered for closure in the Albany area.
The employees at the post offices that are being considered for closure may not necessarily be laid off even though the purpose of the closures is to cut costs for the postal service. The costs being cut would be those associated with maintaining the post offices, leases and more.
But according to Conners, the cost of closing this post office will be great as well.
`The loss to the community and the importance of the service, it would be disastrous,` he said. `If you close this post office you’re going to have to transfer the employee and you still have all these fixed costs.`
Harbour said she is now in the process of trying to obtain 3,000 signatures on a petition to present to representatives of the legislators in hopes that they can persuade the United States Postal Service not to close this post office.
Harbour also said she was informed that the decision would be made on whether the post office would be closing later this winter.
For more on this story check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Nov. 11, print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.