Horsham Council and about three dozen residents, many of them postal employees, were displeased with the responses from a postal official concerning the potential move of the Horsham Post Office.
Richard Hancock, a real estate specialist with the U.S. Postal Service, spent nearly two hours Wednesday night answering questions and explaining a plan to sell the 40,000-square-foot Enterprise Road building for $3 million and rent a 2,000 square foot space along Horsham Road to maintain its retail component.
“Everybody’s business changes with time,” he said. “We needed (the large building) at one time, we don’t need it now.”
He said a USPS study found operations at the Horsham post office could be reduced to provide retail services only.
He admitted, however, that redevelopment of the former Willow Grove Joint Reserve Base was not factored into the decision. That project could bring hundreds of homes and thousands of jobs to the area.
Bill Walker, Horsham’s manager, said he explained to Hancock that “we are a little different than Abington, Jenkintown and Cheltenham. We are a growing township with new development.”
When it came to answers about what a new facility would supply residents, council members were perturbed at Hancock’s frequent “I don’t have that information.”
Asked by Councilman Gregory Nesbitt how many workers are at the post office and how many would remain, Hancock said he didn’t know.
Under the plan, which would shift Horsham’s 32 carriers to Ambler and Hatboro, the facility would lose the ability to process bulk mail and possibly passport services. But where township residents would go to receive those services has yet to be determined, Hancock said.
“I’m a little disappointed we don’t have more certainty in where services are going to be transferred,” said Nesbitt, miffed that council hadn’t received a written plan.
Richard Kraft, a 40-year Horsham resident, said the removal of bulk mail would force people to another location and Hatboro, if chosen, has limited parking.
“My impression is this whole scheme hasn’t been thought through, hasn’t been planned,” Kraft said. “This is going to be an incredible disaster and the victims are going to be the residents of Horsham Township.”
David Atkins, who worked at the Horsham post office for 29 years, said shifting bulk mail will affect business customers “when they have to wait to pick up their mail in the morning. If we make doing business in Horsham more difficult for them, they will be looking for greener pastures.”
Council President Mark McCouch did get Hancock to agree to extend the 15-day comment period to 30 days “given the anxiety and lack of answers.”
Written comments on the plan should be sent to Hancock at P.O. Box 27497, Greensboro, N.C. 27498-1103. He can be emailed at email@example.com. His phone number is 336-665-2848.