Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman assured residents at a public meeting Tuesday night that there will be a post office somewhere in Princeton after the U.S. Postal Service sells the Palmer Square building.
“We’ve been assured the post office will not close until a new location is found, set up and ready,” Trotman said. “All the customer postal boxes will be relocated to the new office, and even more could be added.”
“The new post office will be located in Princeton proper,” Trotman said. “Two service windows will operate at the new location.”
Trotman said she spoke to the postmaster about the issue last week.
When asked by council members what “Princeton proper” meant, it was unclear if the location would still be in the downtown business district. Trotman said residents will have a post office in Princeton and not have to go to West Windsor, for example.
The United States Postal Service decided to sell the Palmer Square post office as part of the agency’s attempts to cut costs, a postal service spokesman confirmed last week in a phone interview with Planet Princeton, which broke the story of the post office move.
If the agency is successful in selling the property at 20 Palmer Square East, the post office retail operation would be relocated to a much smaller location.
Earlier this year, Princeton carriers were shifted to the West Windsor post office at Carnegie Center as their home base. Some services residents previously could handle at the borough post office must now be taken care of at the West Windsor location, for example picking up mail when a hold has been place on it while a resident is away.
The Postal Service is selling buildings all over the country in an attempt to save money. The U.S. Postmaster General announced earlier this month that the agency would study selling or consolidating 252 of its 487 mail-processing centers as part of a plan to save as much as $3 billion annually. The postal service has decided to sell many post offices, including some listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and could decide to sell more.
Mail volume has declined by more than 43 billion pieces in the past 5 years and is continuing to decline. First-Class Mail has dropped 25 percent and single piece First-Class Mail — letters bearing postage stamps — has declined 36 percent in the same time frame, and nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. The decline has created substantial excess capacity within the postal processing network.