(October 20, 2014) NEW BEAVER — The U.S. Postal Service is opening a Village Post Office at Ferrante Upholstering, 3384 Route 18, in New Beaver. An open house will take place beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday. In June 2015, the Village Post Office will be in the Wampum Village Market, next to Ferrante Upholstering.
Nita Riggs, spokeswoman for the Postal Service retail department, said the USPS has 23 village post offices in western Pennsylvania.
The VPOs do not replace regular post offices but offer a range of products and services most often used by customers, including post office boxes, Forever stamps, pre-paid Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and a mail collection box.
The Postal Service is establishing a VPO in locations where there is no post office or where there is one with reduced operating hours and where an alternative access site will benefit the community and the Postal Service.
Currently, hours at the U.S. Post Office in Wampum are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed from noon to 1 p.m.) Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Some reduction of hours is expected.
VPOs are operated by third parties, in this case Ferrante Upholstering, and complement the Postal Service’s own network by offering customers expanded access to postal products and services at convenient hours and locations. Currently, the hours at Ferrante’s are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Postal Service announced the VPO concept in July 2011 as a way to continue convenient access to products and services in more rural communities. VPO locations include convenience stores, local businesses and libraries and are operated by the management of those locations.
The first VPO opened in Malone, Wash., in August 2011.