Suffolk post offices spared

Published 11:42 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

Post office: The Chuckatuck post office, seen here, is one of several post offices that escaped closure under a plan announced Friday by the U.S. Postal Service.

None of Suffolk’s post offices will be closing under an efficiency plan announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Friday.

However, some district-wide positions will be eliminated in an attempt to save money, said Fran Sansone, a spokeswoman for the Richmond district of the postal service.

“They wanted to eliminate some of the redundancy and make everything more streamlined,” Sansone said.

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In all, the district will lose 18 positions, many of which already are vacant, Sansone said. The people currently in other positions will be offered the opportunity to move to jobs being vacated by retirement, Sansone said.

“It’s not as bad as we thought,” she said. “We’re not looking to see a serious impact.”

The lost jobs will be in areas such as human resources, finance and marketing, Sansone said — not front-line jobs that will affect customer service.

“They have no customer service connection,” she said.

The post offices in Chuckatuck and other Suffolk areas had their retail hours cut this fall, to the ire of many local residents and business owners.

However, the Chuckatuck station now is open 24 hours a day for post office box access, Sansone said. An upgraded security system had to be installed before the lobby could be open around the clock.

Postal stations in Holland, Whaleyville, Driver and Crittenden also have limited business hours.

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.