The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it no longer plans to close thousands of rural post offices across the country. Instead, hours will be cut back.
In addition, thousands of employees will be affected when their positions are switched from full-time to part-time.
In Susquehanna County, one post office will go from a full day of operation to six hours a day.
The South Montrose branch looks like it is closed for the day, but it’s actually opened for eight hours a day.
All that will change, as the U.S. Postal Service announces 13,000 rural branches across the country will have their hours of operation cut back. South Montrose office is one of them.
Even though the cutbacks are designed to prevent that and other rural post offices from closing altogether, the shorter hours are an inconvenience for some.
“It would be a pain for me, yes,” said Shirley Lockhart of Springville.
Some folks in town said it will be a headache and hurt those who need the services the most.
“It’s really going to affect the older people, because some of them just don’t drive and they just walk over to the post office,” said Shirley Johnson of Springville.
“I want all of the post offices to stay open. I think it’s a shame for people who some of them are so far away for them,” said Mary Williams of Springville.
The cuts come as the postal service faces a more than $5 billion loss last year.
Thousands of employees are also expected to go from full-time to part-time. The cut backs are expected to save $500 million a year.
Saving money, but some said, losing the friendly connections only a small office can give.
“That would be hard. Annie knows everybody, and we always have a good conversation every time we go in. Impersonal is not good,” added Lockhart.
While many are not happy with the changes, they said at this point they are just used to it.
“You can’t argue with the government. It’s just the way it is, a sign of the times, I guess,” said Johnson.
Other towns that are also affected, include Gibson, Dimock and Great Bend.
The changeover to shorter hours would be done over the next two years and should be complete by September, 2014.
For a full list of changes head to www.wnep.com/websitesmentioned.