The Ellenburg Post Office, located on Edmunds Way in the town of Ellenburg, is being study for potential closure. Maureen Marion, a communications specialist with the U.S. Postal Service, has denied the study means the local post office will definitely be closed.
The future of the Ellenburg Post Office is in question, though no final decision has been made to close the facility, according to a U.S. Postal Service representative.
Maureen Marion, a spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service, has confirmed the Edmunds Way location is one of approximately 3,600 post office branches across the nation being studied for potential closure.
“Ellenburg is one of the 40 offices in what’s known as the Albany District ... that has been identified for a top down study,” Marion said.
The study, she said, will consist of an examination of changes in mail volume, trends in revenue being generated, the workload on existing staff and the amount of space being utilized at current post office locations, among other aspects.
“It’s an analysis of how we use our offices and determining whether or not we are being smart about where our facilities are,” Marion said.
The study will not be based on the amount of revenue generated alone, Marion emphasized.
“It’s not fair to compare a small post office in the Adirondacks with a bigger office in Manhattan,” she said, referring to revenue. “We will look at revenue, but also other things like how busy the office is for its hours of operation, the types of transactions being performed and how much time is devoted to them.”
In a day and age when people can buy postage stamps at the grocery store or communicate via e-mail, it leaves the U.S. Postal Service wondering where cuts can be made that will have the least impact on consumers while still making sure necessary services are still available within a reasonable distance or with little inconvenience, said Marion.
“There are about 33,000 post offices around the country but there are about 100,000 places to buy stamps,” Marion said. “Many people are combining their errands like buying their cards at a supercenter or grocery store and using the blue postal service box outside to mail them ... People don’t have to come to a post office to do those transactions anymore.”
“Post office traffic is changing and we need to respond by looking, studying, and being careful and thoughtful about where we put our bricks and mortar,” she added.
The study of the Ellenburg Post Office is expected to begin within the next four to five weeks, said Marion, as part of a staggered process being rolled out first likely with an examination of the Wanakena Post Office in St. Lawrence County, said Marion. The process at each location, including Ellenburg, will include postal customers receiving surveys in the mail asking them about their use of their local post office. The surveys will be useful input for the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, which will host a community meeting as the study progresses.
When asked if the Ellenburg Post Office being involved in the study process meant the post office is officially being closed, Marion replied, “Not at all.”
“Every office is a standalone study. Some may be very similar, but the needs of each community are just different enough to presume or predict which way [the closure process] will go.”