Post office changes on the way

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service is expected to announce a number of operational changes later this month, including the closure of some station offices across the country.

However, it is not yet clear if any local post offices will be on the list that will be released March 25. Stations in Chuckatuck and other Suffolk areas had their retail hours cut this fall, to the ire of many local residents and business owners.

“They’re still upset about the reduction in retail hours,” Fran Sansone, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said of the Chuckatuck community.

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However, the Chuckatuck station now is open 24 hours a day for post office box access, Sansone said. Initially, the station was open only during the retail hours, as well as one hour before and one hour after, for customers to access their post office boxes.

An upgraded security system had to be installed before the lobby could be open around the clock, Sansone said.

Postal stations in Holland, Whaleyville, Driver and Crittenden also already have limited business hours. According to Sansone, none of them has been slated for closure on any list that she has seen.

The postal service is trying to cut costs after experiencing a drastic loss in mail volumes and projecting a $238 billion shortfall during the next 10 years. The postal service does not receive any tax dollars, relying instead on proceeds from the sales of postage, products and services.

Other announcements on March 25 would include operational restructuring, such as fewer districts in the country. Mail still would be delivered to every address, but fewer districts would mean lower operational costs.