The Times West Virginian

Local News

July 18, 2014

Retail hours cut in Marion post offices

FARMINGTON — Select post offices in Marion County will have reduced retail hours next year.

The United States Postal Service will be reducing the number of hours that the retail windows inside of post offices will be open.

“We were under the impression that this meeting was requested to get our input so that we could make a difference and stopping what is the reduction in hours at our post office,” Farmington mayor Donna Costello said. “Obviously the decision has been made.”

USPS manager of operations Paul Portillo explained to those who attended the Farmington group why the retail hours of the post office had been reduced.

“When we’re hit by the internet, the requirement to pay the retire health benefit fund, those are the two biggest driving factors, (and) the loss of transactions at the retail windows, we don’t make the money we used to,” he said. The decision to cut the hours was made based on how much business the retail offices had at certain times.

The changes made for the retail hours will begin on Jan. 19, 2015.

The Farmington post office will have six hours of operation during the weekdays with two-and-a-half hours on Saturday. The hours will be Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a lunch break from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and the Saturday hours would be 8-10:30 a.m.

Portillo said that the Saturday hours of a post office would be kept so that individuals who worked would still be able to make retail purchases.

Retail purchases include the purchase of stamps, envelopes, boxes and other postage material.

The move was made to help the Postal Service reduce expenditures. According to Portillo, the move will save the post office $72 million a year.

Farmington citizens attended the meeting and asked questions about how these changes would effect mail delivery.

According to Portillo, the delivery drivers will still be working their normal hours to make the deliveries and they should not be affected by the reduction in retail window hours.

The Idamay and Worthington post office retail windows will face hour cuts. The post office in Carolina has already been reduced to two retail hours.

“We’re trying to reduce our cost to operate, which we’ve done,” Portillo said. “By the savings that we have, it allows stay solvent.”

According to information handed out during the meeting, of 945 surveys mailed to Farmington Postal Service customers, 227 responded to the survey. The survey showed that 200 of those people preferred a realignment of hours as apposed to other options of changing the post office venue, changing how deliveries were made.

Eight people made no selection on the survey.

A petition was brought in before the meeting and was intended to show that the Postal Service that citizens did not want a reduction in retail hours.

“See ya in Idamay,” one man said as he left the meeting. Some people who attended the meeting in Farmington planned on going to a later meeting in Idamay about their reduction in hours.

Email Richard Babich at rbabich@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.

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