Post Office Meetings Planned Tonight

MARSHALL COUNTY – Two Marshall County post offices – Glen Dale and McMechen – are among those being evaluated under the Postal Service’s plan to reduce hours of operation at rural and small post offices.

Postal customers in the two cities were recently sent letters with possible proposals, a questionnaire to be answered (one per address), and an invitation to an informational meeting. The meeting for Glen Dale postal customers is slated for 5:30 p.m. today at St. Jude Parish Hall, 710 Jefferson Ave., Glen Dale., and McMechen postal patrons’ session is at 7 p.m. today also at St. Jude’s.

The letter points out that the Postal Service is in the process of soliciting community input through the enclosed survey to help determine the best course of action for providing postal services in the respective communities.

The letters sent to the customers list four alternatives which the household/business were asked to choose from, checking only one. They were:

– Keep the office open, but with realigned weekday window service hours, based on actual office workload. In the case of the McMechen P.O., hours would be changed from eight hours each weekend to four hours per week. According to a city of Glen Dale official, the proposal sent to postal customers indicated the office would be open six hours a day. At the two post offices, current Saturday window service hours would not change as a result of the plan and access to delivery receptacles would not be impacted by the plan.

– Conduct a discontinuance study for the office(s) and provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided through a rural carrier. Mail delivery points would be established or maintained and customers could purchase most post services through the carrier or other alternate access points. If the persons currently receive delivery service the plan would not affect that service.

– Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. When businesses are found that meet the criteria, these establishments would be contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and offer stamps and flat rate products with service hours generally more expansive than what the local post office may be able to offer.

– Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide P.O. Box service via another nearby post office and relocate P.O. Box delivery to the post office.

The letter also asks that in event that window service hours would be changed, the person answering the survey was asked to indicate their preferences for weekday window service hours.

Also, the survey asked for any additional comments from customers.

At tonight’s meetings the questions are to be answered and additional information provided about the plan. Also, local management will share the results of the survey, and solicit input regarding the time of day the post office will be open.

The letter states that although survey results will be known and shared, the Postal Service will not make a final decision regarding the offices until after the public meetings. According to the letter, this will enable the Postal Service to obtain all community input and opinions from both the survey and the meeting, before making a final decision.