CHERRY/SHEFFIELD — The U.S. Postal Service has completed its meetings in seven Bureau County communities and presented plans to reduce retail window service hours in six of those post offices.
At last week’s community meeting in Cherry, U.S. Postal Service representative Donna Sherwood said the Cherry Post Office customers will see a reduction of weekday open window hours from seven hours to four hours, Monday through Friday.
The likely retail hours for the Cherry Post Office would be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The total Saturday window service hours would not be reduced and would likely be 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sherwood said 228 surveys were mailed to Cherry customers with 98 surveys returned. Of those, 78 percent preferred a realignment of hours, with 6 percent choosing a delivery option and 1 percent choosing a nearby post office option. Fifteen percent of the responding surveys indicated no selection.
At last week’s meeting in Sheffield, Sherwood said Sheffield residents will see minimal change in their post office retail open window hours with a reduction from the current six and one-half hours to six hours of open window service.
After reviewing the Sheffield surveys, and taking into account the U.S. Postal Service operational needs, the recommended hours for the Sheffield Post Office would be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a lunch time from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Saturday hours would not be reduced at Sheffield, and would stay at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Also, access to the lobby to check mail boxes would not change.
Of the 653 surveys mailed to Sheffield residents, 233 were returned. Of those, 91 percent preferred a realignment of open window hours, with 5 percent favoring a delivery option, and 2 percent favoring a village/business post office service option. The remaining 2 percent made no selection of a preferred option.
As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the U.S. Postal Service has implemented the POST Plan which affects 13,000 post offices in small towns nationwide. The plan looks at the number of transactions in each office and determines how much time is actually needed to conduct that business. When open retail hours are reduced, the company also has a reduction in employee hours. The postal service expects to realize about $500 million in savings through the nationwide plan.
Other Bureau County communities impacted by the POST Plan have been Buda, Bureau, DePue, Seatonville and Wyanet. Only DePue did not see a reduction of retail hours, though DePue postal employees would be reduced in their work hours.
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