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Representatives from the U.S. Postal Service held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the Buffalo Village Post Office.
The VPO is located at Y Not Stop, 2202 Greensburg Road.
Todd Morris, owner of the convenience store, agreed to place the post office boxes at Y Not Stop after Buffalo Post Office was closed on July 5 due to a brown recluse spider infestation.
The VPO will continue to operate even after the regular post office re-opens, said Roland Moore, VPO coordinator for the Kentuckiana district.
The spider eradication could take up to several months, he added.
“We hope to reopen the other location,” said Moore, “We had the same problem in Fairdale in Louisville, last year. It took four months to get rid of the spiders there.”
Severe infestations can take a long time to control due to the spider’s mating habits and large number of offspring.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, brown recluse spiders only need to mate once in order to produce offspring their entire lives and can produce more than 150 offspring annually.
The post office building has been sprayed several times, but spiders are still seen.
“There are a lot of ‘ifs’ being thrown around concerning the reopening at the original location because we are currently waiting on the landlord to take care of the infestation,” said Hodgenville Postmaster James Senig. “If the infestation cannot be controlled then we will have to relocate the Buffalo Post Office; if it can be controlled and subdued we will move back in to the original location.”
“This is a temporary suspension until we are sure it is safe for our customers and our employees,” added Rosemary Miller, manager of post office operations.
The VPO at Y Not Stop will provide extended hours, allowing customers more consistent access to packaging materials and mailing supplies. There are 96 post office boxes inside.
“We partner with businesses like this because they carry items that everyone buys – it’s a central location to this area. With smaller community post offices decreasing their hours from eight to only four hours a day –or less, having an alternative like this helps out a lot,” Moore said.
A carrier will handle the mail delivery. Morris and his employees will sell stamps and other mailing supplies. There is also a drop box outside Y Not Stop for customers.
“We’re happy to help,” said Morris. “Having the post office here has brought in new customers, new faces and we’re excited to have them.”
Moore said the VPO was a “perfect fit” inside Y Not Stop. The post office box unit “fit into the space as if it was made for it.”
“We appreciate having the opportunity to have our operation here,” said Miller. “It was an emergency situation. We had to close for customer and employee safety…. To close a post office is a huge ordeal. I think it’s a win-win partnership here.”
Senig will manage circulation routes for Buffalo. Kim Gibbons, the postmaster at Buffalo, is filling in as the acting postmaster for Horse Cave.
Senig said the Buffalo Post Office, once reopened, would be administered by Hodgenville’s post office, along with Mount Sherman, Sonora and Magnolia, beginning in September 2014.
“Hodgenville will serve as the administrative post office over the others beginning next year,” said Senig. “The postmasters at the other locations will maintain their titles but will receive help from the Hodgenville office.”
Postmasters at these locations have the option to hold their current positions at reduced hours, as a part of the “Post Plan” or to go to a larger post office.
When the post office is reopened, the post office boxes will be removed from Y Not Stop and returned to the original location.
For updates for the Buffalo Post Office or route information call the Hodgenville Post Office at 270-358-3404.