Postal Service Community Meetings

October  16, 2012

    Thousands of small and rural post offices across the country will stay open, but with shorter hours. This month and next the Postal Service is holding community meetings to find out what kind of service residents want.
    Spokesman Richard Watkins says last year, the Postal Service announced plans to close many small facilities, including more than 150 in Iowa and Illinois. But changed its mind due to strong opposition. Instead, it's now planning to keep all of them open, but with fewer hours.
   "We think the new plan strikes a healthy balance between retaining those post offices, keeping the zip code, maintaining their sense of community and identity, while at the same time giving the Postal Service some much needed cost savings."
    A meeting was held today in East Galesburg, and one is set for tomorrow in Oneida. The Postal Service will hold meetings Thursday in Buffalo, Stockton, and Letts in Iowa, and in Henderson Illinois, followed by Preemption, Joy, and Matherville on Friday.
    Watkins says surveys have been sent to these areas, asking whether residents would accept two hours of "window service" on weekdays, instead of eight. But in some towns, residents may prefer an alternative location and operator.
   "And the reasonsing behind that is many private retail operations - their hours are far greater - they open at 7 am or even 24/7. In some instances they might even have room to accomodate p.o. boxes."
    More of these meetings will be held next week, including Pleasant Valley, Long Grove, and Princeton in Iowa, and Hampton and Cordova in Illinois.