CHERRY HILL A satellite Cherry Hill post office at the Ellisburg Circle Shopping Center will move to a temporary trailer at the center, starting Monday.
Service will not be interrupted when the current office shuts down Saturday and everything is moved to the 850-square-foot trailer, said Ray Daiutolo Sr., regional spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service.
He said the Ellisburg office's lease expires April 30, and the landlord has another use for the site.
"Our lease is ending at the current location," Daiutolo said Monday. "We don't need more space. We just need to find a new location.
"The landlord has been very, very generous in letting us put a trailer on his property. We're very grateful to him and the township for making this happen."
Daiutolo said the Ellisburg branch, at Kings Highway and Route 70, will be in a trailer next to the Playdrome bowling alley, just behind its current spot, until it finds a permanent location.
He said all customers who have accounts at the Ellisburg office were notified through postcards that were mailed by Saturday.Ellisburg is one of two satellite offices - also known as retail finance stations - with staff that report directly to the main Cherry Hill post office at 1175 Marlkress Rd. The other is at the Woodcrest Shopping Center off Haddonfield-Berlin Road.
As satellite offices, they are equipped just for customers to have a post office box and buy stamps, Daiutolo said. They have no letter carriers, like those from the Marlkress office.
"In this case, [the Ellisburg office] is too big an operation to try to shoehorn into Marlkress," Daiutolo said. "Ellisburg is a pretty busy branch, so this is the next-best contingency.
"We'll start the process of looking for a new, permanent home in the [Ellisburg] area," he said. "We would like to keep the office in the 08002 zip code.
"We are looking at a similar-size location, about 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of retail space with public parking and handicap accessibility."
Daiutolo said operations should be seamless, with the trailer office to open Monday.
"We will close like normal on Saturday, and our field maintenance crew will take everything out and put it into the trailer," he said. "There will be no break in service."
Permanent relocation could take six months to a year. He said that once the Postal Service approves the relocation as a capital expenditure, it will begin a community contact process, which includes soliciting bids.
"Then we'll rank in order the bids that come in, and review each location and try to pick the best site," he said. "We'll tell the township what we like best, let the public have a look, and have public comment on that location, and then negotiate" with the owner of the site.
Daiutolo said a year "was a conservative estimate" for the move. "It depends how successful we are in the solicitation process," he said. "Sometimes, it takes a little longer."
Still, he said, "we absolutely want to be out of that trailer within a year. The trailer is a good contingency, but not something we want to be involved with long-term."