Cornersburg Post Office will shrink

Decision is nonappealable; negotiations toward new lease of current space continue

By Peter H. Milliken


If negotiations to occupy reduced space in its current location collapse, the Cornersburg Post Office will move elsewhere within its service area, a top postal official has ruled.

Tom A. Samra, vice president for facilities at postal headquarters in Washington, who was responding to Mayor John A. McNally’s protest of the proposed move, said his decision is nonappealable.

“This is the final determination of the postal service with respect to this matter, and there is no right to further administrative or judicial review of this decision,” Samra concluded in an April 18 letter to the mayor.

Samra said postal officials would continue to negotiate toward a new lease with Shutrump United Enterprises Inc., the current landlord, to reduce the space the post office occupies to enable the retail counter and post office box facility to stay there.

“Should an agreement with the landlord not be reached, I will not set aside the postal service’s initial decision” announced Feb. 24 to downsize and move the Cornersburg Post Office, Samra ruled.

David Van Allen, a Cleveland-based post office spokesman, said negotiations between the postal service and Shutrump for downsizing in the current location are ongoing, but the postal service is simultaneously reviewing possible alternative locations.

If negotiations with Shutrump collapse, Samra ruled that the post office will move to smaller quarters elsewhere in ZIP Code 44511 and maintain retail counter service with the same hours as the current post office: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

“If negotiations deteriorate with the current landlord, the community will be notified of the possible alternatives” and invited to comment on them, Van Allen said.

Postal officials won’t sign any lease for an alternate location without first notifying the community of the possible alternatives and inviting public comment on them, he added.

The post office’s lease for 7,800 square feet for $77,286 in annual rent in its current shopping plaza location at 3375 Canfield Road, expires Sept. 29.

When the Cornersburg post office shrinks to about 1,200 square feet, clerks will staff the retail counter, but the letter carriers based there will relocate to the downtown post office.

In his March 11 letter of protest, Mayor McNally said the Cornersburg Post Office should stay where it is because thousands of residential and business customers in Youngstown, Boardman, Austintown and Canfield “depend heavily on this postal service on a daily basis.”

But Samra replied that the post office is supported by postage, and not by taxes, and must make cost-efficient business decisions to remain viable.

“In order to be self-sustaining, the postal service must make decisions that ensure it provides adequate and affordable postal services in a manner that is as efficient and economical as possible,” Samra wrote.

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