Local Post Offices facing reduced hours

B y Jaime Thomas

As the United States Postal Service continues to make cuts nationwide, locals will begin to see differences nearby.

The Middle Granville post office reduced its Monday to Friday hours from eight to just over six, and it’s only a matter of time until the North Granville post office follows suit, said George Flood, a Postal Service spokesperson.

“It is on the list, but they haven’t gotten to it. It’s not on the schedule yet,” Flood said.

He said reducing the hours at a post office is a two-year process that is part of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) POST Plan, which aims to maintain postal services but save the USPS money. Flood does not think the program will equate to the post offices closing soon.

“The whole concept of the process was to keep them open,” Flood said. Before making changes at any post office, the USPS advertises and holds a meeting that is open to the community.

Bert Dennison, the new post master relief in Middle Granville, said there was a mailing about the meeting and changes with a survey letter sent out to people within that zip code. She was told that only three people showed up to the meeting.

She said her post office is pretty busy and draws a lot of people from Granville. While she thinks they will have to adjust to the new hours, Dennison thinks everyone is generally OK with them.

“They’re learning to deal with it — I mean, what are you going to do?” Dennison said, adding that the late afternoon hours she keeps are convenient for residents.

Flood agreed that people are by and large satisfied with postal service changes.

“For the most part people are fairly pragmatic. If we can continue to keep them (the post offices) open so they have a way to take care of those things, people are glad for that,” Flood said.

In order to transition her customers into the new hours, Dennison said she has had a sign of notification in the window. While she is not an actual post master, she said she performs essentially the same duties as what one would do but without the title, and she was trained extensively by the former post master.

In addition to North Granville, several other local post offices are currently listed on the USPS website as slated to have their daily hours reduced from eight to four, including Hampton, and in Vermont, West Pawlet, Pawlet, Rupert and Middletown Springs. Post offices in Clemons and Huletts Landings are also expected to have their hours reduced.

The Middle Granville post office is now open weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to noon and from 2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturday hours are from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

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