WHEELING - In an effort to save about $500 million per year, the U.S. Postal Service has a new plan to reduce operating hours at post offices across the nation, including many in the Ohio Valley.
The strategy is a compromise to keep the post offices open, instead of closing them altogether. Access to the retail lobby and to post office boxes would remain unchanged, while the town's ZIP code and community identity would be retained. The plan would be implemented over two years, and would not be completed until September 2014, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
"Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve," said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe. "With that said, we've listened to our customers in rural America and we've heard them loud and clear - they want to keep their Post Office open."
Photo by Casey Junkins
A new plan from the U.S. Postal Service will allow post offices like the one in Lansing to stay open, but with reduced hours. The plan would call for reducing retail hours at Lansing from eight hours to six hours per day.
Most local post offices are now open eight hours a day. Post offices affected by the new policy now will be open for either two, four or six hours per day, depending on the location. Affected post offices will include:
Beech Bottom, Benwood, Bethany, Colliers, Dallas, Glen Dale, Glen Easton, McMechen, Newell, Proctor, New Manchester, Short Creek, Triadelphia, Valley Grove, Windsor Heights, Reader, Alma, Jacksonburg, Shirley, Friendly, Pine Grove, Smithfield and Hundred.
Beallsville, Jerusalem, Morristown, Old Washington, Adena, Alledonia, Amsterdam, Barton, Bergholz, Blaine, Brilliant, Clarington, Colerain, East Springfield, Empire, Glencoe, Hammondsville, Hannibal, Irondale, Jacobsburg, Lansing, Maynard, Mount Pleasant, Neffs, Powhatan Point, Smithfield, Lafferty, Stratton, Tiltonsville, Warnock, Yorkville, Bannock, New Athens, Piedmont, Holloway, Jewett, Scio, Bowerston and Deersville.
"The Post Offices in rural America will remain open unless a community has a strong preference for one of the other options," said Megan Brennan, Postal Service chief operating officer. "We will not close any of these rural Post Offices without having provided a viable solution.
The Postal Service will provide an opportunity for the commission to review this plan prior to implementing the changes. Community meetings would then be conducted to review options in greater detail. Communities will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of these meetings.
"The legislative changes outlined in our business plan will enable us to reduce annual operational expenses by approximately $22.5 billion by 2016 and set the stage for long-term financial stability so we can continue to provide secure, reliable and economical universal service to the American public," added Donahoe.