YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The United States Postal Service is seeking public comment about a proposal to right-size the Cornersburg Post Office, while keeping retail services for customers intact.
A representative from the U.S. Postal Service was in town from Illinois on Wednesday to address Youngstown City Council about the proposal, which she said is a necessary step to cut costs and streamline operations.
The U.S. Postal Service currently leases about 12,000-square feet of space in a plaza on Canfield Road just east of Meridian Road. Marla Larsen-Williams, a real estate specialist for the USPS, said they plan to relocate the carriers to the main Youngstown Post Office on Walnut Street and right-size the Cornersburg facility to a more manageable size of 1,200 to 1,400-square feet.
“So that alone would save money in the long run, so that is what is being considered and proposed at this time,” Larsen-Williams said.
If it can’t be done at the current site, Larsen-Williams said they will look for another location in that area to offer retail services. Fifth Ward Councilman Paul Drennen said there’s a spot in the old Giant Eagle building nearby.
“On the left hand side there’s 1,200 to 1,300 square feet, with a dock, so it would be a perfect location for them, if they can’t work with the current landlord to downsize the space that they’re currently working with,” Drennen said.
Larsen-Williams said there is no plan to close the Cornersburg location.
“From a retail perspective, they’ll still be able to pick up their post office box mail, they’ll still be able to get our services,” she said.
But some postal workers at the meeting said the downsizing proposal is the first step toward residents in Cornersburg losing their post office for good. Dom Corso, president of American Postal Workers Local 443, said he has seen this movie before, and the proposal should come with a warning.
“This is normally the first nail in the coffin. They move the carriers out, next thing you know, they can’t relocate or find another post office and it’s as good as gone,” Corso said.
He said something similar happened to the post office on the West Side of Warren, and it’s a pattern across the country.
There is a 15-day public comment period where people can write letters to the Postal Service. They can be addressed to Marla Larsen-Williams at 62 Stratford Drive, Bloomingdale, IL 60117.
“The most important thing is that none of the services suffer from them changing any locations, and I don’t feel that they will,” Drennen said.
After the public comment period, the Postal Service will make its decision. Youngstown Mayor John McNally then has 30 days to appeal that decision, so it could be late March before they even try to look for a new space.