Postal service weighs plan to cut hours for 4 locations

Four Jefferson County post offices could have their hours of operation changed as part of an effort by the U.S. Postal Service to avoid closing many of its rural locations.

Under the plan, hours of operation at the Summit Point post office would be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Halltown hours would be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Rippon hours would be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Shenandoah Junction location would be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The post office in Rippon would see its operating hours trimmed under a proposal by the U.S. Postal Service to avoid shuttering a number of its rural locations in West Virginia. Post offices in Halltown, Shenandoah Junction and Summit Point also would have their hours reduced under the new plan. BRYAN CLARK

Hours of operation for post offices in Charles Town, Millville, Harpers Ferry, Ranson, Shepherdstown and Kearneysville would not change.

Previously, the Postal Service had announced the closure of thousands of post offices.

“We do not anticipate that anything will begin with hour changes until after we hold meetings for all the post offices listed and we get community input and feedback,” said Cathy Yarosky, Postal Service spokesperson in Philadelphia.

Other options the Postal Service is considering include providing mail delivery service to residents and businesses in certain communities by either rural carrier or highway contract route; contracting with a local business to create a Village Post Office, or offering service from a nearby post office.

The USPS also announced a voluntary early retirement incentive plan for more than 21,000 postmasters.

The current program will take about two years or until September 2014 to complete, said Tad Kelley, a post office spokesman.

“We have listened to the community and many members of Congress and have decided we will not be closing the 3,700 post offices, including 150 in West Virginia, previously targeted,” Tad Kelley said.

One of those Congressional members is Sen. Joe Manchin.

“It made me sick to my stomach when I heard they were planning to close 3,700 rural post offices that would have saved them $200 million,” Manchin said in a telephone interview Thursday. “Two hundred million, that is how much this country spends in Afghanistan in one day.”

Manchin said the post office serves an important function to the country and said he has advised the postmaster general on where to make adjustments.

“People depend on the post office. By taking them away it takes their lifeline, their medications, and their checks,” Manchin said. “I think the postal service have had management problems. They are upside down. They took the path of least resistance, which was the wrong path.”

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