Post office meetings are now complete for three of the seven Bureau County towns which could see changes to their post office services.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) sent letters to residents of Buda, Bureau, Cherry, DePue, Seatonville, Sheffield and Wyanet to notify residents of upcoming public meetings on proposed changes to their post offices as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s POST Plan.
Residents also received surveys from the postal service explaining the options before them, which included realignment/reduction of open service hours; delivery service; contract with a community business to handle some postal service; or close the community post office and have those customers go to a neighboring post office.
The communities of Bureau, Seatonville and DePue have completed their meetings.
On Thursday, USPS Corporate Communications spokesperson Beverly Howard said post office hours are being reduced from eight hours. For those post offices with modified retail hours, operating hours will range from two to six hours.
The decision regarding the status of the individual post office will be posted inside the post office one week after the community meeting, Howard said. If there are retail hour changes, those changes will be made approximately 30 days after the information is posted in the post office. The number of hours of operation will be based on the individual post office’s earned workload and the proximity to other nearby post offices, she said.
The USPS sent out 145 surveys to Bureau customers with 34 of those surveys returned. Ninety-one percent of the Bureau customers favored a realignment of hours, with another 3 percent preferring the delivery option and 6 percent selecting no option. After reviewing the surveys returned, and taking into account USPS operational needs, the USPS stated retail hours for the Bureau location would likely be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.
The USPS sent out 147 surveys in Seatonville with 64 returned. Eight-six percent of those customers favored a realignment of hours, with another 6 percent selecting a delivery option, 2 percent selecting the village business post office option, and the remaining 6 percent not making a selection. After reviewing the surveys that were returned, and taking into account Postal Service operational needs, retail hours for Seatonville would likely be from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Saturday.
As reported Thursday in the Bureau County Republican, the DePue Post Office is not changing the number of the retail hours, but rather what customers will see is a later delivery time for their post office box mail. The DePue Post Office will remain at six hours a day service, but employees will be reduced in their work hours. Rather than coming a couple hours early to sort mail, employees will open the door for retail business as soon as they get there, USPS Post Plan coordinator Gary Patten said at Tuesday’s DePue meeting.
The USPS sent out 600 surveys to DePue customers, with 182 surveys returned. Of those, 93 percent favored a realignment of hours, with 4 percent choosing the delivery option and another 3 percent not selecting an option.
Editor’s note: BCR Staff Writer Goldie Currie contributed to this article.
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