CALCUTTA

Just a day after the president of 1st National Community Bank announced they intend to keep the Calcutta Post Office amidst lease negotiations, a postal representative from that United States Postal Services said it was their goal to work with the bank to retain mail operations at 15713 state Route 170.

After emphasizing that talks have been in progress with Bank President Steve Sant, USPS Spokesperson Victor Dubina added it would be in the best interest of the postal service to keep operations ongoing at the current location in Dunham’s Sports Plaza.

“Our preference is to stay,” the spokesman told The Review. “There is no money for a new facility.”

Dubina painted a poor financial picture for the USPS as they have been operating in the red for quite some time. According to Dubina, the USPS lost approximately $2.5 billion the previous fiscal year and over $5 billion during the cycle before that.

If the current Calcutta Post Office were to close, Dubina said the USPS would not have enough funds to construct a new one in the area.

Also indicating a future for the current service was a letter from St. Clair Township Fiscal Officer Deborah Dawson that stated she received information that “the Calcutta Post Office will not be closing at the end of February 2009.”

In the letter, Dawson said an unnamed postal representative stated that the post office “has too large of a service area to close it” and added that the East Liverpool and Calcutta post offices both have a strong service area.

If, however, circumstances would arise where both parties could not reach an agreement and the post office would have to be closed, the USPS is required to notify the public and elected officials of the township. Dubina said an event similar to the West Point town hall meeting back in October would take place in the township.

At that meeting, options about retaining a form of mail service would be discussed with the residents. Dubina was present at that meeting along with Harry J. Myers, marketing spokesperson.

Dawson’s letter also indicated that a current lull in talks is a result of the holidays and officials involved with the lease renewal being on vacation, something that Sant indicated as well.

Dubina also confirmed that some parties involved were indeed away from the office, but believed they would look through Sant’s preliminary lease proposal sometime next week.

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