Rural post offices throughout Carter County will begin operating at reduced hours in a cost-cutting measure designed to reduce expenses while still keeping local offices open.
Beginning in early November, post office locations in Willard, Soldier and Grahn will begin scaling back hours of operation, some to as few as two hours a day.
The Willard Post Office will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Grahn location will only open from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on weekdays and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and the Soldier location will operate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.
Hours of operation for the Hitchins Post Office will remain the same until a community meeting can be held to determine the most convenient times for community access.
Originally, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) had planned to close many rural offices throughout the country, but lawmakers in Washington lobbied for a cost-cutting plan that would keep these locations open, citing their unique importance to the communities that they serve.
Instead of closures, the USPS will implement this hour reduction plan over a two-year period, culminating in September 2014. Once completed, the Postal Service estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually.
“Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve,” said U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.
“With that said, we’ve listened to our customers in rural America and we’ve heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their post office open.”
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.