FREWSBURG – Despite significant declines in volume on a national level, the Frewsburg Post Office is still going strong.
On Monday, Donna Spencer, Frewsburg Post Office postmaster, addressed the Carroll Historical Society. She spoke about topics such as the Post Office’s history in Frewsburg, and issues which pose a problem for the post office right now.
Spencer gave her address to begin the society’s monthly meeting.
”In the town of Carroll, at one point, there were four post offices: Ivory, Fentonville, Frewsburg and Dodge,” said Spencer. ”When people settled in those areas, they found it difficult to travel into Frewsburg to get their mail, so they petitioned to get their own post offices. That petition was sent to Washington, and they were given their own. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that anymore.”
According to Spencer, Frewsburg was first granted a Post Office in 1837. Unfortunately, it has not been recovered where the original Post Office was located. Spencer speculates that it could have been located at the home of the original postmaster.
As time passed, the post office changed locations, with the most recent move in the late 1960s, when the Post Office moved from Center Street to its current location on Main Street.
Frewsburg employs two full-time rural carriers, and has a very high number of P.O. boxes rented for a small Post Office.
”Frewsburg, at this point, we’re fairly solid,” said Spencer. ”We generate enough revenue, and we have a high enough population to have a high enough volume that there has not been any talk of reducing our hours at this point. I feel very lucky about that.”
However, Spencer discussed some of the problems the USPS is experiencing in other parts of the nation. According to a USPS statistic, the volume of First Class mail has dropped 35 percent in the past four years.
”What some communities have done is taken their post office and reduced the hours of operation to six, four, or two hours a day,” said Spencer. ”The decision to do this is never very popular, but obviously doing so is a last resort. … It always causes a ruckus when a Post Office is not open during traditional hours.”
The USPS had proposed a plan to cut costs by reducing its letter delivery days from six to five a week. The announcement infuriated many people. However, Spencer said during her discussion that putting this plan into effect has been put on hold. Previously the USPS wanted the change to occur by Aug. 5.
Spencer also discussed the possibility that the closest USPS sorting center for Chautauqua County, which is currently in Buffalo, could be closed and transferred to Rochester.
”These consolidations are taking place all over the nation,” said Spencer. ”However, to us, that would mean that our mail would then come from Rochester. At this point, we just received instruction from our Postmaster General that these consolidations would not affect our service here. Generally, that trip from Rochester to Jamestown would only take a day, just like the Buffalo to Jamestown trip.”
Following her discussion, Spencer opened the floor up for questions. At the conclusion, the members of the Carroll Historical Society thanked her for her lecture.