Albany facility shutting down in March; Pine Hills location's fate unknown

Section: Capital Region,  Page: D6

Date: Friday, February 18, 2011

ALBANY -- The U.S. Postal Service has told customers of the Patroon Station on Broadway in North Albany that the mail facility will close by the end of March.

The announcement marks the second post office the USPS has targeted for closure in the city, coming on the heals of the shuttering last month of Delaware Station on Delaware Avenue, as part of a nationwide restructuring inside the Postal Service.

Earlier this week, federal postal regulators rejected an appeal by neighbors of the facility on Delaware Avenue to keep it open.

The news was broken to Patroon Station customers in a letter dated Feb. 1 from Edward F. Phelan, district manager of the USPS Albany District.

The post office has one full-time employee, who will be reassigned based on seniority, said Maureen Marion, a USPS spokeswoman. There are no letter carriers associated with the station, and local mail delivery will not be affected, Marion said.

Post office box customers at the branch are being offered the opportunity to move their boxes to the Kimberly Square post office about four miles away on Albany Shaker Road in Loudonville.

The post office is located at 1226 Broadway between Second and Third Streets, not far from the Menands village line.

A third city post office, Pine Hills Station on South Allen Street, is also being considered for closure as the USPS hopes to stem what amounted to $8.5 billion in losses last year.

The closure of the Postal Service's urban branches has been controversial because advocates contend neighborhood post offices are what make cities walkable and environmentally sustainable alternatives to suburban living.

Marion said a decision on the future of Pine Hills has not yet been made.