KINGSTON -- The sale is nearly complete, but the post office in Kingston isn't going anywhere. There is a deal that could bring a bank to the building.
With billions of dollars of debt, the United States Postal Service is trying to cut costs, and is closing post offices all across the country. In Kingston, the post office building has been on the market for nearly a year. The Kingston post office was put on the market in August, 2012, with an asking price of $500,000.
A spokesman for the postal service says it's closing in on a deal to sell the 18,000 square foot building, but instead of moving, the post office will downsize and lease only a fraction of the space inside from the new owner.
Instead of moving out, the postal service says it plans to lease 2,000 square feet in the building. The prospective new owner is Penn Security Bank and Trust.
"I think it's great for us in Kingston because we don't have to go to Wilkes-Barre. It's not far away but it's easier and more convenient to be here," said Randy Granger of Kingston.
Granger works a few blocks away from the post office, and says he's glad to hear a bank plans to move in and lease space to the post office.
Bonnie Rice said it's a smart move, since many post offices no longer need a lot of room.
"It's a big building, so I think that they could probably utilize the space for both and it would still have the convenience of the post office here and a new banking facility. It would work out fine."
Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of a post office and a bank branch under one roof in Kingston. Some people say parking spaces are already scarce and some drivers ignore the warning signs when they pull out onto Wyoming Avenue.
"It's definitely going to get tougher, definitely," said Latasha Frierson of Wilkes-Barre. "I don't know how they're going to do that. Good luck."
Frierson says she sometimes has trouble finding a parking spot at the Kingston post office. She believes the lot would be even busier if the bank follows through with plans to build a drive-thru lane.
"Got to get your bills out on time, got to get them out," she said. "I might be going to the Wilkes-Barre one."
Officials at Penn Security Bank and Trust did not return our phone calls.
The postal service says it will work to minimize the disruptions to post office customers and a bank branch could be in the building by the end of this year.