USPS consolidating delivery for Pelham, Helena offices

Published 8:18 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The U.S. Postal Service is finalizing plans to consolidate delivery service from the Helena Post Office into the Pelham office, a regional USPS spokesman said.

As a result of the consolidation, mail carriers who currently pick up mail at the Helena Post Office near the intersection of Shelby County 52 and 261 and deliver it throughout the city will now pick up their mail at the Pelham office off U.S. 31.

Larry Dingman, manager of USPS southeast area corporate communications, said the changes will only affect USPS employees, and will not affect the services currently offered at the Helena office.

He also said customers can still pick up undeliverable packages, purchase stamps and ship packages at the Helena office.

“The retail area and P.O. boxes will remain open at the Helena office,” Dingman said. “It’s a transparent change. The customers won’t notice any difference.”

The consolidation will cause a few employees currently working at the Helena office to move to the Pelham office, but the changes will not result in any layoffs, Dingman said.

“There are no plans to close the Helena office right now. That’s not even being considered,” Dingman said.

The USPS is also planning to transfer delivery operations from the Maylene Post Offices into the Alabaster Post Office near the intersection of Alabama 119 and Kent Dairy Road.

“It will be a similar situation, where nothing will change for the customers in Maylene,” Dingman said.

“Saginaw is being reviewed for a similar situation right now,” Dingman added. “But nothing has been decided.

However, an employee at the Pelham Post Office said she has some concerns about the consolidation.

“They’ve said it won’t affect anybody, which I don’t believe at all,” said Gennetter Smith, a custodian at the Pelham Post Office. “Management hasn’t really told us much about it.

“It doesn’t make much sense to keep the Helena office open just to sell stamps and money orders,” Smith said.

Smith said most mail carriers at the Helena office use their personal vehicles to deliver mail, and she said many would have a lengthy route if they delivered mail from the Pelham office.

“The carriers in Helena use their own vehicles, and now some of them have to go from Pelham to South Shades Crest,” Smith said.

“The USPS says it won’t be a bad thing, and I hope they’re right,” Smith added. “I hope it’s a good thing.”