U.S. Postal Service Says Village Offices Will Stay Open
Move will cut hours at several local branches
In an effort to keep the doors open to more than 600 small-scale post offices, the U.S. Postal Service announced Monday it will trim the hours at those locations as part of a multi-tiered plan to save money.
The new strategy was implemented in place of a plan introduced in November 2011 which looked at closing rural and suburban offices like Salford and Woxall and Upper Salford Township to make the organization financially sustainable.
Offices which had not been closed by May 15 would stay open, officials said.
The retail window hours at the village offices will now reportedly match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to post office boxes will remain unchanged.
The town’s zip code and community identity will also be retained, officials said.
“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 in a press release issued May 14.
Other options include contracting with a local business to create a village post office, offering service from a nearby post office or providing mail delivery to residents and businesses in the affected community by rural carrier or highway contract route.
The new changes won’t be fully implemented until September 2014. The Postal Service said it expects to realize a savings of a half billion dollars annually.
Area offices to have shorter hours include Lederach, Milford Square, Old Zionsville, Palm, Sumneytown, Salford, Salfordville, Sassamansville, Woxall and Zionhill.
Postal Service officials said Wednesday the new hours for those offices were not determined to date. Previous reports stated that Salford and Sassamansville branches would have hours reduced from eight to six and the Woxall branch would only be open two hours a day.
The organization also announced a voluntary early retirement incentive for more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters.
The Postal Service, which receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to stay afloat, has been losing business due to the increasing use of e-mail and electronic communication, as well as online bill payment services.
The organization, which last made a quarterly profit in 2009, posted an $8.5 billion loss in 2010. Most recently, in the quarter that ended on March 31, it realized a $3.2 billion deficit.