CALCUTTA

The local post office will not close at the end of next month as some have feared.

Concerns were voiced at this week’s St. Clair Township Trustee meeting that the lease between the U.S. Postal Service and 1st National Community Bank is set to expire Feb. 28.

Previously, workers at the local post office had sent letters to the editor saying they had not been informed of plans for the building.

In a press release Thursday, township Fiscal Officer Deb Dawson reported she spoke with a U.S. Postal Service representative about the situation and was assured the Calcutta facility will not be closing in February.

She said the representative was knowledgeable about the situation but not authorized to comment publicly for the record but said she was advised “the Calcutta Post Office has too large of a service area to close it.”

According to Dawson, negotiations are under way between the postal service and 1st National Community Bank but had been delayed due to the holidays and vacation schedules.

Those negotiations will resume next week, Dawson was advised.

While a township resident complained in a letter to postal officials that the downtown East Liverpool post office was not as vital as Calcutta, Dawson said she was advised that both are “good strong service areas.”

East Liverpool Mayor Jim Swoger said this week that a new eight-year lease has been signed between the postal service and the owner of the downtown post office building.

Dawson said in her release that she was advised the U.S. Postal Service is required by law to notify the township’s elected officials and residents if the Calcutta Post Office were to be relocated within the township, with public hearings required.

“It is a community-friendly process,” she said.

Meanwhile 1st National Community President Steve Sant confirmed Thursday that talks are under way between the bank and postal service, saying, “From the bank’s standpoint, we’d like to keep them here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work something out. We’re doing everything we can to make that happen.”

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