The U.S. Postal Service says their new plan to avoid closing rural offices and instead reduce operating hours will soon be taken to the public in a series of community meetings. Postal Service Spokesperson Mary Dando says the dates for these community meetings will be announced after Labor Day, and Postal Service officials will conduct the meetings in all affected communities.
She says that no action has been taken regarding the soon-to-be shortened office hours, and assures communities that the plan will not be completed for another two years. The new strategy will be implemented over two years and should be completed by September 2014.
Dando says the meetings will explain what changes will take place, how communities will be affected, and why the Postal Service has decided to take this approach.
Survey research conducted in February showed 54 percent of rural customers would prefer the new solution to maintain a local Post Office, while 46 percent prefer one of the previously announced solutions (20 percent prefer the idea of a Village Post Office, 15 percent prefer providing services at a nearby Post Office, and 11 percent prefer expanded rural delivery). Dando says the Postal Service took this research into consideration.
“America spoke, and we listened! So rather than close these, we’ve come up with a plan to reduce hours in them because we still have this huge decline in first class mail, which of course has been a real financial decline as well. We have depended on first class mail so much,” said Dando.
Keep an ear open for announcements of community meeting dates to learn more about the changes that will soon be implemented by the U.S. Postal Service.