By Mallika Mitra
As the clerk of the historic Setauket Post Office on Main Street greeted customers and conversed with each one, all the while stamping their packages, she said that not all residents know the post office is still open for business.
After a scare in the past few years that the small post office might close, customers who used the post office think that the old building next to the Mill Pond is no longer in business, said Stephanie Ungarino, the post office’s clerk who heads up the branch.
“People come in and say, ‘Oh, I thought this place was closed,’” she said.
The woman who now runs the historic post office worked as a clerk at the larger Setauket Post Office on Route 25A for 19 years before moving to the small Setauket branch.
Marty Donnelly was the postmaster of the Setauket branch until his retirement in February.
In April, Ungarino moved from the larger post office to the one on Main Street to fill in Donnelly’s position.
In July 2011, the United States Postal Service announced the historic post office was one of 3,700 across the country considered for closing because they were not providing enough revenue.
However, residents and elected officials rallied against the closing and spoke out and have been successful in keeping the post office open.
Although Ungarino has the same responsibilities at the historic Setauket branch as she did at the larger Setauket branch, she said it is different working at the smaller building.
“This is just a one-man show,” Ungarino said, and she likes it that way.
“I know them all,” she said about the residents who come into the small post office.
“I wish it was a little busier,” Ungarino said of her new workplace. “I like to keep busy.”
According to Ungarino, after all the talk about whether the small post office would be closed, some people who had previously used the historic Setauket Post Office began to go to the larger branch.
Because of the support the post office receives from Setauket residents, “this place is not going anywhere,” Ungarino said.