Post office to lease space at Lubeck store

LUBECK – In response to reduced hours at its Washington station, the United States Postal Service is leasing space at a store on West Virginia 68.

Postal officials held a ribbon-cutting at the “village post office” at James’ Country Store, outside Lubeck Thursday.

Jane Holter, customer support specialist for the Parkersburg Post Office, said the village space will sell stamps, handle mailing and partial package pick up.

In May, to stave off the closure of about 150 West Virginia post offices, officials reduced hours at several hundred offices throughout the state. The postal service had slated the closure of a handful of offices in area, such as Rockport and Auburn. Instead, those offices remain open at reduced hours, along with 28 other post offices in the area.

Many of those have been reduced from eight hours of operation to six or even two hours. Post offices in Friendly, MacFarlan, Palestine, Big Springs and Walker were among those to have hours of operation cut in half, from eight to four hours. Hours at the Auburn office was slashed from eight hours to two.

Holter said the hours at the Washington office have been reduced, and to offset that, officials are leasing space at the store.

“This is to help that,” Holter said.

The store sells groceries, gas, a pizza station and now postal supplies. The station will not be staffed by postal employees.

Katrina Nusbaum, acting retail specialist for the Appalachian District, said many customers are addressing needs on-line, ordering stamps and pre-printing postage for packages.

“They just need a place to drop the items off,” she said. “It shouldn’t require a 20-mile trip.”

The space has been operational for about a week. Postal officials have a 1-year lease with the store.

Store owner James Kincaid has no idea how much the operation will be used by customers. “People need to know what you are doing and options are available,” he said.