Concern about plans to cut post office hours

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – The U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to scale back hours for some post offices in Dennis Township could begin early next year, according to U.S. Postal Service spokesman Raymond V. Daiutolo Sr.

Reducing hours worries Susan Silcox, who has worked at the South Dennis Post Office for the past few months.

Others are worried as well. Residents came to a meeting at the Dennisville United Methodist Church on the proposal Dec. 4 thinking the South Dennis Post Office would be shut down, Silcox said. Instead, they learned of plans to cut hours. There was also a meeting on the Dennisville Post Office there the same day.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans that would keep smaller post offices open and save money.

The Postal Service took a $15.9 billion net loss for the 2012 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, according to a news release.

The Postal Service also saw a big drop in use. Compared to the previous fiscal year, 8.4 billion fewer pieces of mail were sent this fiscal year, although the number of packages sent increased.

Under the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal, post offices in Whitesboro and Green Creek in Dennis Township and South Dennis in Dennis Township would be reduced from eight hours a day to four hours. The South Seaville and Dennisville post offices in Dennis Township would be open six hours a day instead of eight.

Retail window hours would change, but customers would still be able to use the lobby and post office boxes, according to information on the U.S. Postal Service’s website. Saturday hours at post offices would remain the same, Daiutolo said.

Silcox said business would be lost and customers will be forced to head elsewhere if hours are reduced at the South Dennis post office. The post office is near the intersection of routes 47 and 83 in Dennis Township.

She said business is steady throughout the week at the post office.

On Tuesday morning, Larissa Smith of Swainton in Middle Township stopped at that South Dennis Post Office. She said she may have to head elsewhere if the hours are cut.

Smith said she probably goes to the South Dennis Post Office once a week.

“I love this post office because it’s small,” Smith said. She also said she likes the good service.

The U.S. Postal Service’s plan to cut back hours at the smaller post offices would be put into place over two years and be completed in September 2014. Officials say that move would save the Postal Service an estimated half billion dollars each year.

Meetings dates about the post offices in Whitesboro, Green Creek and South Seaville have not been posted on the U.S. Postal Service’s website. Residents and businesses will be mailed information on the sessions, according to the post office.

Daiutolo said changes in post office’s hours would probably take place about two months after the community meetings.

Meanwhile, the Goshen Post Office in Middle Township remains in emergency suspension. The post office has been closed since June, 2011 after lease negotiations fell through on the building along Route 47.

Daiutolo said there was nothing new to report on the future of the Goshen post office. Post office boxes have been moved to the Dennisville Post Office.

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