The U.S. Postal Service met with the community of Byron on Monday to discuss cutting its post office’s retail hours from eight to four hours of operation per day. Alexandria’s post office hours were cut from six hours of operation a day to two as of Saturday.
The USPS hours-of-operation reduction is in response to public complaint when it was announced that thousands of rural post offices would be closed. The national postal service is attempting to cut expenses after suffering losses of $15 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012. The hourly reduction is hoped to be fully in place by September 2014.
In Nebraska, about 90 post offices were on the chopping block including Alexandria, Byron and Carleton in Thayer County. Customers will mostly notice the change in hours at the window, said officials at the delivery service. Saturday service is still up in the air.
Ongoing community meetings, like those already held in Alexandria and Byron, are also giving rural communities the option to include rural route services, locate post offices inside existing businesses or get mail from nearby post offices. In most cases, postal officials bring a decision based on results of surveys taken earlier last year. In May 2012, six post offices in Thayer County were slated to see a decrease in office hours. Besides Alexandria and Byron, others include Bruning and Deshler, slated to go from eight to six hours of retail operation, and Carleton and Chester expected to move from eight to four hours.
No other meetings are scheduled in the local area through January.