Updated 05/10/2012 07:11 PM
Rural post offices will stay open
Over the past year, USPS has been studying ways to cut costs without having negative impacts on communities. And when they decided to close some rural post offices, many residents were not pleased. That idea has now been dropped and the postal service is finding other ways to cut costs and our Cara Thomas says residents are happy with the alternatives.
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y.--"It's just a part of us and I don't want to see it go," said Marilyn Clark, a Parishville resident, about her local post office.
When residents in small rural towns heard their post office could be in danger of closing, many were upset, particularly people in Parishville and West Stockholm. They say it would have been an inconvenience to travel to the next available post office, the closest being in Potsdam, up to 10 miles away.
"If it goes to Potsdam, that means an extra trip. That means people will not get mail/bills on time, maybe not be able to send their bills in on time," said Clark.
The postal service says they were exploring ways to cut costs and one option was to consolidate post offices that don't see as much traffic. But the U.S. Postal Service has found a way to keep these rural post offices around.
Maureen Marion, the Manager of Corporate Communications in the Northeast for the USPS says, "Folks really, really do want that presence of a post office in their communities, so as a result, we again say how can we be responsive to that need and still look at ways to draw out some of our overhead expenses."
And their answer is shorter hours and not just for the post offices that were in danger of closing. More than 9,000 post offices nationwide will change to part time hours. They will decrease from an eight hour day, to a six, four or two hour day.
"This is what people have asked us for. They've asked us to keep a presence in the postal service somehow and this is our way to do that," says Marion.
Residents in Parishville and West Stockholm say their local post office isn't just a place to pick up your mail, buy stamps or send out a package. They say their post offices are so much more.
Clark said, "My husband's grandfather used this post office back in the 20s, the 30s, the 40s. In fact, we have the same box number that he had back in the 50s."
The postal service says they will find out from the community what hours work best for them and also find ways to keep P.O. boxes accessible, even when no one is in the office.
The Postal Service says the reduced hours will allow them to offer better retirement packages, as well as part time non-career job opportunities