Kilbourne residents will no longer be able to avoid the lines at Delaware’s Post Office after Friday.
The U.S. Postal Service will “suspend operations” of the Kilbourne location at the close of business on Aug. 18.
In an Aug. 1 letter to residents, Post Office Operations Manager David Huelsbeck stated that the owner “of the property had passed away and the building is in need of repairs. … the Post Office is located in just a portion of the of the total building. The other part of the building has become unsafe and unhealthy to occupy causing unsafe and unhealthy conditions in our facility. … the deterioration of the entire building has created an unhealthy environment.”
“We’ve been in discussions a lot with the post office,” said Brown Township Trustee Gary W. Stegner. “It’s sad, it’s part of Kilbourne history that’s going away.”
Stegner, a Kilbourne area native, said the post office has been a fixture there.
“For 56 years there’s been a post office,” he said.
Stegner said he’s been informed that residents aren’t getting the answers they need regarding how their addresses will change with the post office closing, which means an end to the familiar 43032 zip code. He said that Trustee Charles Miley has been working with the postal service and trustees have even offered the use of the old trustee building once the new one is finished.
In the Aug. 1 letter, Huelsbeck wrote, “Please contact the postmaster of the Delaware (office), 740-363-1906, for advice regarding the potential placement of mailboxes prior to the suspension. Customers presently receiving rural delivery will not experience a change in service, with the possible exceptions of picking up parcels and accountable mail at the Delaware (office) that the carrier is unable to to deliver.”
“Kilbourne Post Office box customers can continue to use Kilbourne, OH in the last line of the delivery address, but need to use the 43015 zip code with their street address.”
“The township is behind the residents 100 percent to help get what they need,” said Stegner.
Jessica Lilly has only been at the little window of the Kilbourne Post Office since November 2015, but she has gotten to know the people in the rural community.
“Residents said the post office has been trying to close this location for a while,” she said.
There is no running water or restroom in the building, Lilly said. She said if she needs to use restroom facilities, she has to go across the street to the small store.
“Safety is closing it immediately,” she said.
Lilly said she has been told by older residents that the old building used to be the local grocery store, but the building has housed the post office for many years.
“Older people said they have only known this location as the only post office,” she said. “People are disappointed because it’s been convenient.”
Lilly said she was told by residents that the convenience was being able to avoid the Delaware Post Office lines and downtown traffic.
“Holidays are pretty busy through here with people avoiding Delaware,” she said.
Customers would come from Sunbury and Delaware, Lilly noted. She said the Delaware delivery starts at the curve of State Route 521 and Sunbury delivery begins when crossing the bridge over Alum Creek.
Cathy Van Gundy said the closing doesn’t really bother her.
“I like the fact that I’m going to get mail at the house now,” she said. Van Gundy currently has a post office box she picks her mail up from. “Usually I let the mail go for a week before picking it up.”
Van Gundy said her only worry about the change of zip code is being sure she receives her mail from the Delaware office.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.