To read about the Post Office meeting click on Laughlintown (PA) Post Office to Make Changes: Part 1 .
On February 19, 2013, a meeting convened between the box-holders of the Laughlintown Post Office and the Rector Post Office. Most persons who attended knew it was just a formality, just United States Post Office procedure.
The 25 attendees knew what was coming was a done deal.
Still, there were numerous questions and concerns expressed by the box-holders.
When Mr. Battles distributed a summary sheet to attendees just before the meeting convened there were numerous comments on its listing of local Post Offices (referring to the survey alternative #4: conduct a discontinuance study for the post office and relocate P. O. Box service to a nearby Post Office—see Laughlintown Post Office to Change: Part 1 for other alternatives offered).
The first nearby post office listed was Ligonier, 3.2 miles away, a logical selection.
However, the other two selections demonstrated that the Post Office doesn’t have a clue about Laurel Mountain:
- Jennerstown (7.3 miles away)
- Gray (10.9 miles away).
Both include the long stretch of road ascending Laurel Mountain.
Many attendees were even unaware of the existence of the community of Gray.
Q. What did the stamp say to the envelope for fun?
A. Stick with me and we will go places!*
Perhaps we should all visit the community of Gray to check out its Post Office. However, being located in a small rural community, is it too likely to fall victim to the Post plan?
Following Mr. Battle’s presentation questions from attendees raised the following issues:
The elimination of the postmaster position in favor of an iterant employee or even a regular certified postal employee—who might not know the community—could negatively affect the efficiency of mail delivery. We’ve always had Postal employees who knew who we were and would get our mail to us. People in Pittsburgh and automatic sorting remove this familiarity. I definitely want to continue having a regular person, not iterant person, here.
Mr. Battles responded that the Post Office will need to update their information carefully. Although the Postmaster position is eliminated, the employees here will be certified through the Post Office. (NOTE: The true nature of the Post Office of the past is demonstrated in an article brought to my attention: Post Office Closings in Rector and Export, Pennsylvania, Mirror a Larger Postal Service Problem
The Laughlintown Post Office is used by numerous out-of-area persons due to its exceptional handicapped accessibility. Many come from Ligonier, which has an inaccessible Post Office.
Postal patrons are allowed to park behind the Ligonier Post Office (in spite of the No Parking signs) and use the ramp there. They can ring the bell for service.
The Post plan does not providing sufficient hours for the postal employee to accomplish their work.
A former Postmaster stated It boggles my mind—there is too much work for 4 hours.
Some of the Postal patrons mail their packages in the afternoon so as not to interfere with the Postal employee’s task of sorting mail.
Mr. Battles didn’t seem to have a response to this issue. He kept stating that revenue is driving force for Post Office changes.
Is this plan locked in stone? Is there the possibility that the Post Office hours could be increased if the proposed plan doesn’t work.
Mr. Battles again stated that revenue is the driving force. “If it comes in we will look at this.”
If the Postal Service is private, why do we have to deal with the government?
Mr. Battles responded that the Postal Service is mandated to go to Congress.
I’d rather have reduced hours than have to walk across Rt. 30 with its coal trucks.
People come here because they don’t like the Ligonier Post Office.
Sometimes it’s not the revenue…
This Post Office is very nice because it is the only accessible one in the (Ligonier) valley.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY MR. BATTLES:
We are losing money and we’re still not closing. We have to do something to stay in business.
Many people don’t know that they can print out postage online and put it on the package.
Even with two Post Offices using the building there is a need for a change.
The survey results mean that probably within a month to month and a half from now the Laughlintown Post Office hours will be changed. The window is expected to be open between 9:00 p. m.-1:00 p. m. on weekdays. The lobby will be open either 24 hours or it will have a lockbox that closes it at 5:00 p. m.