Post office closes for fear of roof collapse

By JARED STRONG

j.strong@carrollspaper.com

SCRANTON — The Scranton post office might not reopen again for months after closing abruptly because of a dilapidated roof.

In the meantime, the town’s residents are directed to Jefferson to buy stamps and mail packages.

“It’s a humongous deal,” Scranton City Councilwoman Ashley Squibb said. “We have all sorts of people upset.”

The U.S. Postal Service announced the closure — which it dubbed an “emergency suspend” — in a press release Thursday night and set up temporary post office box clusters for residents.

“It appears there is water intrusion in the building,” said Kristy Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service. “As long as the landlord is willing to do the repairs, I’m assuming we will go back in there.”

The building’s owner, Gaye Barr, of Scranton, and her husband Larry said there has been spotty communication from the Postal Service about problems with the building, which is located downtown at 1020 Main St.

“When we found out, we found out like everybody else,” Larry Barr said of the office’s closure. “As big of a surprise as it was to everybody, it was a bigger surprise to me. I was never told this was going to happen.”

Someone inspected the building last week and determined that “if there was a heavy snow, the roof would collapse,” Barr said.

It’s unclear how much money the Barrs might have to spend to fix the building’s problems.

“At my age, I’m not sure I want to put a whole lot of money in a building,” said Barr, who is 81.

Anderson said the Postal Service would attempt to relocate to another building in the area if it is not fixed.

The temporary post office boxes are located at Scranton City Hall, 900 Eagle St.

All other post office services — including retrieving packages that couldn’t be delivered to houses — are available at the Jefferson post office, 106 W. Harrison St. in Jefferson, about 10 miles east of Scranton.

“Besides not being able to get stamps or mail anything, there’s a lot of people that do eBay that are pretty upset,” Squibb said, referencing the popular auction website. “Now they have to drop off their packages in another town and spend more money.”

Squibb said city leaders will likely discuss the issue at the next city council meeting Nov. 13.

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