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U.S. Postal Service Cutting Hours, Jobs At Lake Winola

LAKE WINOLA — People in a Wyoming County community are voicing their concerns after learning about changes that will impact the area’s post office.

The Lake Winola post office is just one of thousands nationwide facing cuts that include reducing hours and eliminating jobs.

Some people in Wyoming County aren’t happy that these changes will be happening to their community.

The post office in Lake Winola gets a lot of foot traffic during the day. Whether it’s shipping a package, or picking up mail, the door is always opening. Next year, residents in this community will have to adjust their schedules because the hours here are getting cut.

“I can say I’m not surprised because I’ve seen small rural post offices lose hours as the economy changes and the government wants to save money,” said Lake Winola resident Patricia Gatto.

The post office is one of many included in the U.S. Postal Service’s “post plan.” The plan hopes to save millions of dollars by reducing hours at post offices in rural communities.

Starting in January, the office will cut back from eight hours a day to six. The plan also eliminates the job of the postmaster, a woman who has worked there for seven years.

People who live at Lake Winola aren’t too concerned about the hours being reduced. They’re more concerned about the postmaster losing her job.

Frank Barrett and Suzanne Labar each split their time between homes in Florida and Lake Winola. They worry that without Postmaster Dorothy Bert on the job, there could be problems.

“I’m very comfortable for the next two or three months if I get mail here, it’s going to get to Florida because I forward it there. I won’t feel as comfortable again when they make this change,” Barrett said.

“The people we have working here are phenomenal. Dorothy, as Mr. Barrett said, a true professional and I, too, feel very comfortable about my mail coming to Florida because I know if it comes here, it’s not going to sit here,” Labar added.

Under the plan by the USPS, the Lake Winola post office would be staffed by part-time employees starting in January.

The options for current Postmaster Dorothy Bert include moving to another post office or retiring.


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