Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 23, 2013

Community post office opens in Kegley

GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

KEGLEY — A national trend in the U.S. Postal Service arrived Friday in Mercer County when a community post office opened at a local convenience store.

Jay’s Grocery in Kegley hosted the grand opening of the new post office after getting the necessary equipment — including a mail box — installed. It will be called the Kegley Village Post Office, said Marie Burrell, who co-owns the grocery with husband J.R. Burrell. Getting the post office ready has been going on for more than a week.

“They’re just bringing us stuff and we’ve been getting it installed, but today is our grand opening for the Village Post Office,” Marie Burrell said as she tied balloons.

The Burrells decided to open a community post office after hearing that the nearby Kegley Post Office may reduce its hours. Offering mail service would be another way to give customers more conveniences.

“We’re excited today. It helps us and it’s going to help the community. They’ll be able to get stamps here, and the If it Fits, It Ships boxes,” Marie Burrell said. “We do have mail pick up. They put the box in yesterday, the receptacle.”

Customers will not be able to pick up mail, but they will be able to mail letters and packages. They will also be able to buy stamps, she said.

The nearby Kegley Post Office will remain open, said Supervisor Mark Hamm of the Princeton Post Office. Customers can still pick up their mail there and get services community post offices do not offer such as purchasing money orders.

“It’s something nationwide,” Hamm said of the community post office concept. As some post offices reduce hours, post offices opened in stores will offer postal customers more services.

Hamm stated that he did not know if more community offices were scheduled to open in Mercer County, but the trend will continue.

“I’m not sure about Mercer County, but there will be more in West Virginia and Virginia, too, nationwide,” he said.