By NANCY WHITAKER • Progress Correspondent
The United States Postal System has been struggling with financial woes for quite some time. According to a notice sent to the Scott and Latty Post Offices, meetings are scheduled to access their situations and possible solutions. Can these long time post offices survive with shorter hours or should there be a discontinuance study done?
Postal customers received surveys with questions on them about the current situation and the options available. If any resident did not get one, they are still available at the post offices.
The Latty and Scott Post Office meetings are on July 15. Latty’s meeting is scheduled for noon and Scott’s for 2 p.m.
If residents want to be heard, please attend these meetings and help decide the best solution.
Local management officials will be there to explain the survey results and said, “We will not make a final decision until after the public meeting.”
According to the notices, which are posted at the post office, there are four options available.
• Option 1: Keep the post offices open based on the actual office workload. The hours for Scott would be cut from 7.5 hours per day to four hours. The current Saturday hours would be the same and the access to the local receptacle would not be impacted. In Latty, the hours would be reduced from 7.75 hours down to two hours.
• Option 2: Do a discontinuance study and offer roadside mailbox delivery and a rural carrier will handle the retail and delivery.
• Option 3: Have a discontinuance study and see if a local business would meet the criteria. These local establishments would be contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and would offer stamps and mail supplies.
• Option 4: Do a study on discontinuance and relocate the P.O. Box services to another nearby location.
In May 2012, plans were announced that would hopefully achieve significant cost savings to get the organization back to financial stability. At that time, following meetings and research, it was disclosed that offices in Paulding County would be affected by the cost savings. Receiving cuts were Grover Hill, Haviland, Melrose and Cecil. They had modified retail hours to match customer use.
At the same time, the U.S. Postal Service announced it would be modifying retail window hours in some locations. At that time, Latty and Scott were listed as under consideration for reducing daily window hours – Latty from eight hours to two, and Scott from eight hours to four; however, they kept the same hours.
The postal system has been suffering from financial difficulties for a number of years. With online bill pay, online banking, email, online shopping, greeting cards and much more, customers do not use the postal service as often as they once did.
The U.S. Postal Service maintains a retail network of more than 31,000 post offices and is the only delivery system that reaches every address in the nation which is 151 million residences, businesses and post office boxes.
The Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe said, “The job of postmaster general was once one of the country’s most politically powerful. It is also one of the oldest; a version of the position existed before the Declaration of Independence.”
But today, Donahoe finds himself continually caught in the political crossfire. Donahoe is wrestling with how to manage the Postal Service’s future as it faces huge losses, dwindling mail volume and ballooning costs. It may seem strange now, but Donahoe was originally drawn to postal work by the money. He saw his salary rise from $4.76 per hour as a postal clerk 37 years ago to $245,000 annually in his current office.