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Businesses could help maintain small town post office presence

With small town post offices closing and cutting hours, the Postal Service has developed a new concept in which it partners with stores to offer its services. One Butler County store is the  second Village Post Office to open in Ohio.

Dunkelberger Lawn and Garden, at the intersection of St.Rt. 73 and  St. Rt. 127 is not that far from the Collinsville Post office. It's a quarter- mile down the road in a house. But with talk of the post office hours being cut, Dunkelberger's signed on to help the community out.

"The post office is having a pretty tough time of it now. The smaller post offices are getting slowly phased out."

As he tapes a package, Jon Dunkelberger says he's not going to get rich providing postal services but it could drive some extra traffic into his Butler County store. Customer Jim Frazier didn't come in to mail Christmas cards, but he said if you were going to start offering postal services, this would be the right time to do it.

"I'd say the holidays would probably help because they're all pretty crowded right now."

Since the concept was introduced a year ago 93 businesses nationwide have opened VPOs. The Postal Service is quick to say the Village Post Office is not its future. But if you live in a small town like Collinsville, being able to walk into an established lawn and garden store and mail a package from 8-5 on weekdays and 9-1 on Saturday could help.