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Millville post office closes its doors

January 06, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Bill D'Angelo, 64, who said he has been coming to the Millville, W.Va., post office all his life, tries out his key Thursday at the new cluster boxes. The post office closed Thursday.
Richard Belisle, Staff Writer

MILLVILLE, W.Va. — Bill D'Angelo, 64, who said he has been coming to the Millville, W.Va., post office all his life, tries out his key Thursday at the new cluster boxes. The post office closed Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

Patrons of the Millville post office were handed their mail in person for the last time Thursday, a practice in this Shenandoah River hamlet since 1882.

Starting today, some patrons will pick up their mail at Jefferson County post offices in Harpers Ferry, Charles Town and Ranson. Others will have their mail delivered by rural carrier, an official said Thursday.

Christine Carter, Millville's postmistress for the last four years, told several patrons who came in for their mail Thursday that about 80 of the 114 Millville post office patrons who live close by will pick up their mail from a row of cluster boxes a half-block down the street that the U.S. Postal Service finished installing.

Carter is being reassigned to the post office in Summit Point, W.Va.

The cluster boxes are free for patrons. A box in the post office costs about $40 a year.

Bill D'Angelo, 64, who said he has been coming to the Millville post office all his life, was at his cluster box Thursday afternoon trying out his key.

"It works, but I'm definitely going to miss the post office," he said.

He said the daily errand gave him a chance to catch up on what his neighbors were doing.

"It's a social thing," he said.

Patty Jessee, manager of operations for 66 post offices in three West Virginia ZIP codes, including the Eastern Panhandle, said last month said the postal service had been negotiating for about a year with the owner of the building housing the post office for a new lease, but could not come to terms.

The Millville office had been scheduled to close earlier but the cluster boxes weren't ready until Thursday.

On Dec. 23, the Jefferson County Commission sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Rockefeller and Manchin, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, asking that the post office remain open.

"Closing the Millville post office would cause a hardship, especially the elderly and poor of the town," the commissioners said in the letter.

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