Rensselaerville P.O. to move, public asked for recommendations

— Photo from Google maps

The Kuhar Family Farm plaza on County Road 353 is home to the Rensselaerville Post Office, at left. The post office will be relocating to another facility, and the United States Postal Service is asking residents to mail in their recommendations for a specific site in the same 12147 ZIP code. 

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Post Office, currently located at the Kuhar Family Farm plaza on County Road 353, is expected to relocate, and the United States Postal Service is seeking the public’s recommendation for a new site.

A USPS flier explains that the reason for the relocation is the “loss of a leasehold” and that the new facility will be “approximately 900 to 1,200 square feet with 6+ parking spaces within the preferred zip code 12147,” and that it will maintain the same level of service. 

The public may mail recommendations and any other comments to USPS at Post Office Box 27497, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27498-1103, Attn: Rensselaerville NY Main Office Relocation.

USPS spokesman Mark Lawrence told The Enterprise this week that the postal service is seeking recommendations from the public for a specific location. He added that he was working to find out the deadline for comments, which, on the undated flier, is described as “within the next 45 days.” 

When The Enterprise called Kuhar Family Farm, owned by Micah and Rochelle Kuhar, for more information, a woman who declined to identify herself said, “At this point in time, I’m not ready to talk about it. I will definitely entertain talking to you in a little bit, but right now I’m not willing to discuss this with you.”

However, she did acknowledge that she didn’t have “any information other than what’s on that [flier],” and said, “No one’s been communicating with me.” 

The farm’s Facebook page makes no mention of the relocation, nor any major changes to the business itself.

The Kuhars bought the building in 2016 and have a restaurant there; the post office predates it. Like the other Hilltown post offices, it is technically a satellite of the Westerlo Post Office as a result of consolidation. 

 

Background

Though potentially inconvenient for some, it’s fortunate for Rensselaerville residents that the post office is moving, rather than closing entirely. 

 The Enterprise has written extensively about the pressures facing local post offices, particularly in rural areas. Because USPS does not receive public tax money, relying instead on a self-sustaining model, the declining reliance on physical mail has led to closures and cries for privatization. 

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — who was appointed under President Donald Trump, a privatization advocate — has enacted a plan that seeks to streamline operations, causing labor leaders to worry that low-traffic post offices will be closed entirely as new regional facilities are built. 

However, Lawrence told The Enterprise last year that no post offices will be closed because of the new facilities.

“As we move forward with this initiative, customers will see no changes to their local post office retail operations,” he said. “No post offices will be closed and PO Box service will not be changed.” 

A memorandum of understanding that the USPS signed with the American Postal Workers Union last summer affirms that the new centers cannot be used as a reason to close offices or reduce services. 

Still, one postal worker in the region whose identity The Enterprise is withholding for the sake of job security felt that recent changes in operations are meant to undermine the public’s trust in the post office and gather support for privatization.

As it stands, post offices remain a vital part of communities, as evidenced by the passion with which one Berne resident has lobbied for a rehabilitation of the East Berne Post Office, and the outcry over the closure of the Knox post office in 2012, leading to the installation of postal boxes in the parking lot of the Knox Town Hall. 

Rev. Ibrahím Pedriñán, president of the local postal workers’ union, told The Enterprise last year that post offices are often the only federal footprint in small communities, and can serve a purpose beyond just the mail.

“I think that’s where we need to imagine a new postal service that goes in and brings broadband to every community, that brings electric charging stations …,”  Pedriñán said. “How does the postal service embody some of that connectivity between the government and the people?”

More Hilltowns News

  • R’ville Stage Creations artistic director and founding board member Tara McCormick-Hostash told The Enterprise this week that she wanted the group to offer a space for people who might otherwise be uncomfortable with theater “because it’s the spot I wished I had” as a youth in Rensselaerville.

  • The Carey Institute for Global Good had jettisoned much of its core programming during the pandemic years while it figured out its own future. It has now changed its name to Hilltown Commons, and partnered with three different local organizations that now call its Rensselaerville campus home. 

  • The United States Postal Service had issued flyers earlier this year about a potential relocation and was seeking input from the community about what sites might be suitable. 

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.