The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 25, 2006

Post office turns down Murtha, mobile-home park

MUNDYS CORNER — The postal service has denied a request from U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, to bring curbside mail delivery to about 115 families living in a mobile-home park here.

But the U.S. Postal Service has given approval for Leisure Village’s owner, Robert McKool, to install a “neighborhood collection box” unit at a centralized location on Warrior Street inside the park.

In the meantime, Leisure Village residents are scrambling to find alternative methods of getting their mail.

Residents were notified last week that they must drive 25 miles round-trip to downtown Johnstown – or find alternative methods – to retrieve mail. The post office halted delivery to the community’s cinderblock mail house after it was extensively damaged as a result of a car crash last month.

“We reviewed the request to deliver mail to the individual trailers,” stated a letter from Barbara Gerenser, consumer affairs manager for the postal service. “Our regulations permit us to convert mail delivery service to a more economical and efficient mode of delivery.

“We cannot responsibly add the time and cost of door delivery in this trailer park.”

That is discriminatory, said McKool’s attorney, Michael Sahlaney of Johnstown.

“The post office is discriminating against (Leisure Village residents) as opposed to those living in other subdivisions, because the folks in Leisure Village aren’t making as much, or their homes don’t have as much value as subdivision homes,” Sahlaney said.

“We still want curbside service brought to Leisure Village.”

For years, residents there could enter the mail house and individual mailboxes with a key.

Sahlaney said, in the meantime, his client has arranged with an unnamed masonry contractor to pour concrete for the new collection box unit this week.

“We’re waiting for confirmation from the factory that makes the collection box,” Sahlaney said. “We’re hoping the unit will be here this week at the earliest.”

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