Starting Saturday, June 28, the Emily Post Office will reduce operating hours to six hours per day, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This decision was reached at the conclusion of a customer survey and a public meeting.
Initially, survey results indicated that customers wanted the office open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the public meeting revealed some misunderstandings concerning the survey, said Emily Postmaster Sue Trocke. Trocke said those who completed the survey did not appear to realize that a later opening time would mean later mail delivery.
“Most people on rural routes don’t want their mail to come any later. If they vote for 9 o’clock to open, that’s when the window opens, that’s when she starts sorting the mail as well. That would mean the carriers would get out later yet. Everybody sort of agreed at the meeting that 8 o’clock would make more sense,” Trocke said.
New hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., which means delivery times should not be affected much, except during the early transition.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS) media relations specialist Peter Nowacki said the change in operating hours at the Emily Post Office is the result of a 2012 strategy by the postal service to save money and keep rural post offices open through adjustment to operating hours. Nowacki said this strategy allows the USPS to save $500 million a year without closing many branches.
Nowacki said that after the June 28 deadline, most services to the Emily area will remain the same, except for reduced retail window hours. Access to post office boxes, Saturday hours and delivery services will not change.
The reduction of hours also means that the Emily office will now have only a part-time postmaster.
Nowacki said surveys were sent to 620 customers. The surveys had four options, including one option to adjust weekday operating hours and three “discontinuance studies,” which would effectively close the office, but seek alternatives to retail building services.
Of the 247 surveys returned, 229 said they would like to see the office remain open, but with reduced hours. A public meeting was held May 6 to discuss the details of the change.
“I know from these surveys that people were upset. That’s usually the case everywhere. I thought it was great for the community to come together like that. It was really a good turnout. Nobody got ugly. It was a really good meeting. Once they understood, they asked if they could set it to 8 o’clock,” said Trocke.
Nowacki said the Emily Post Office is one of 13,000 smaller post offices nationwide facing changes.