Efforts to save the Setauket post office on Main Street are still going strong six months after the U.S. Postal Service first announced that the location was one of 3,700 being studied for possible closure.
At last month's community meeting, the officer in charge of the Long Island district, Jay Novellino, told residents that if more people rented boxes it would be difficult for the USPS to close the location. Since the meeting, a group of supporters is challenging the community to rent 100 boxes by April 1, according to local advocate Kerri Glynn.
Within the last month, 13 additional boxes have been rented at the Setauket branch, according to the post office’s primary employee, Marty Donnelly.
Currently, P.O. boxes at the Setauket branch are at about 40 percent occupancy, according to postal officials. Nearby at the Port Jefferson post office, P.O. boxes are at 96 percent occupancy.
“There have been more boxes, so our financials have increased, and that’s always good,” Donnelly said.
The Setauket branch is also working to advertise additional services and features that the community may not be aware it offers. For example, box holders can use their street address for their P.O. box and keep a signature on file at the office so packages can be accepted. Also, once new renters pay for 12 months, they will receive one month free as well as no key deposit for their first two keys. The branch even offers a text or email service to alert renters when new mail arrives.
“Rent a box. It’s a really great thing, the best thing you can do to help save the post office," said Robert E. Reuter, the 1st vice president of the Frank Melville Memorial Park board, which manages the park and the post office property.
No official decision regarding the future of the post office will be made before May, which gives the community a little over a month to meet the mark of 100 new box rentals.
“The public has been very good about coming in and getting new boxes,” Donnelly said. “The community here is great.”