Residents to hear postal planPublished 9:50am Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Area post offices may soon be affected by a new plan from the United States Postal Service.
Community meetings have already started being held to explain something the Postal Service is calling the Post Plan. The process will end in September 2014 and will mean changes at low-volume postal offices.
Surveys are being sent to affected residents, and community meetings are being held to discuss the results of those surveys. Pete Nowacki, a spokesman for the Postal Service in Minnesota, said the meetings will be a chance to give residents a timeline for how their local office’s hours may change.
“We will give people the results of what happened with the survey,” Nowacki said.
There will be about a 90-day process from when a resident receives a letter until changes go into effect, with the exception of the holiday period from December through Jan. 12. All changes will only impact the hours the retail window will be open; access to PO boxes, collections and mail delivery will not change.
Post offices under the Post Plan will remain open with different hours unless community members show a strong preference for one of the other options. The four options given in the survey are:
• Keep the post office open with different hours, i.e. changing hours from eight hours each weekday to four.
• Close the post office but still provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided by rural carriers.
• Close the post office but find an alternative location in the community, like a local business, that could offer stamps and flat rate products.
• Close the post office and relocate PO boxes to a nearby post office.
Locally, Hartland and Bricelyn had meetings last week, and Alden, Glenville and Hartland will hold meetings Wednesday and Thursday. See the box for more information on local community meetings.
More community meetings will be held in November, but those times have not been made public yet. It is likely the communities of Ellendale, Emmons, Freeborn, Frost, Geneva, Hollandale, Kiester, Conger, Twin Lakes and Clarks Grove will be part of the Post Plan.
The Postal Service will also continue to offer the option of Village Post Offices in smaller communities. They can be placed in convenience stores, libraries, businesses or other establishments. The Postal Service said benefits of this include that the business may have longer hours than the post office had and that the Village Post Office can offer the most-used products like forever stamps and flat rate boxes.
Local postal office meetings
Kensett: 2:30 p.m. today, at the Kensett Post Office
Manly: 3:45 p.m. today, at the Manly Post Office
Alden: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at the Alden Community City Hall
Glenville: 7 p.m. Thursday, at the Glenville City Hall
Hayward: 5 p.m. Thursday, at the Hayward Community Hall