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USPS suspends Ono's postal services in Lebanon County

Village residents are now traveling to Jonestown Post Office to pick up their mail.

LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. — On Wednesday, a new real estate office opened along Main Street in Ono Township. However, the building used to serve as the village's post office for over four decades.

“I was affected by the change just as much as everyone else," said Jocelyn Shay, a real estate agent who used to run the Ono Post Office. “I made this move as a business move for myself and my family.”

Shay says her family has run the post office since it was opened. She recently announced to the United States Postal Service her plans to end the lease to the building, hoping a new building would be found to provide the village mail.

Instead, a letter was sent out to residents in October announcing the suspension of postal services in Ono.

“I offered another contact for another location, which they never followed up with," said Shay.

“This is a government service that’s supposed to be provided, and they took it away from us," said Ed Anspach, an owner of a small car dealership in Ono.

Anspach says Ono residents now must drive three miles down the road to the Jonestown Post Office to pick up their mail. He argues the change is an inconvenience.

“That takes a half an hour to 45 minutes after I lock up and drive down there," said Anspach. "And then you get there and often find you’ve got two pieces of junk mail.”

On top of the inconvenience, Anspach says residents are paying for PO boxes at the post office when they shouldn’t be.

“They’re basically charging me double," said Anspach. "I still have to put a stamp on everything that I mail, and I have to pay for a post office box.”

Ono is not the only rural community that has dealt with issues with postal services in recent months. People in Adamstown and Brownstown, Lancaster County lodged complaints, after discovering they were wrongly paying for PO boxes.

Mark Lawrence with the United States Postal Service issued the following statement regarding handling complaints from communities about being unfairly charged:

"Customers who qualify for a Group E PO Box and were previously charged, may receive up to a 2-year refund by requesting, completing, and submitting Postal Service form 3533, Application for Refund of Fees, at their local post office."   

Anspach says he doesn't blame Shay for what transpired with the Ono Post Office. He says residents should be given refunds and bring back the postal services.

“If they set up a bank of post office boxes, like they do at apartment complexes, I can walk to where that’s located," said Anspach.

When asked whether or not a meeting to discuss the village's postal services will be held, Lawrence issued the following statement:

"All alternatives for a replacement facility in Ono are being evaluated. The official community contact process is expected to begin within the next 30 days."

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