Residents of seven Bureau County communities will be asked what they want done with their post offices.
The U.S. Postal Service has sent surveys to the residents of Buda, Bureau, Cherry, DePue, Seatonville, Sheffield and Wyanet to explain four options before them and to notify residents of upcoming public meetings on the proposed changes as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s Post Plan.
As detailed on the U.S. Postal Service website, community post offices which are included the Post Plan list are those offices with the lowest work load, the least amount of retail business and bringing in minimal revenue.
According to Post Plan coordinator Ledell Car, the U.S. Postal Service is seeking community input through its survey to help determine the best course of action to provide postal services to the community.
The first option is to keep the local post office open, but for fewer weekday hours.
The hours in the affected communities would be reduced from eight hours each weekday to six hours each weekday. Current Saturday window service hours and access to mail boxes would not change.
The second option is to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided through a rural carrier. Mail delivery points would be established or maintained, and customers can buy most postal services through the carrier or other alternate access point. The Post Plan would not affect those people currently receiving delivery service, the survey states.
The third option is to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find an alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. The establishment would be contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and would offer stamps and flat rate products, with generally more expansive service hours than what a local post office could offer.
The fourth option would be to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and relocate post office box service to a nearby post office.
The survey also asks residents for their preference for weekday window service hours, if the selected option would be to reduce window service hours to six hours per weekday.
Carr said the results of the surveys will be known and shared at the public meetings. However, a final decision on what will happen with these post offices will not be made until after the public meetings, he said.
Community meetings are set for July 10 at the Seatonville Post Office; July 15 at the Bureau Post Office and also at the DePue Post Office; July 24 at the Cherry Post Office; July 29 at the Wyanet Post Office; and July 30 at the Buda Post Office and the Sheffield Post Office. The meetings are to be held at the post office building in each community.
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