Citing a reduction in workload and a drop in revenue, the U.S. Postal Service officially announced this past Wednesday it would be reducing the hours of operation at the post office in Morton. The announcement was made at a public meeting where those in attendance heard the plan is to reduce the hours when the window is open from its current eight hours per day to six hours, with one hour of service Saturdays.
In advance of the meeting, the U.S. Postal Service conducted a survey of its Morton postal patrons. It mailed out 486 surveys with 137 returned.
The survey asked which alternate option people would prefer to address necessary changes at the post office. The options included a realignment of hours, a delivery option, a village post office option or the option of using a nearby post office. The overwhelming response was to realign the hours, as 87 percent of those responding to the survey said they would prefer that option.
While the specific hours of operation have not yet been determined, the proposal would be to have the office open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Saturday hours of operation would remain from 8-9 a.m. under the proposed changes.
The final decision regarding the hours of operation is going to be made in the not-too-distant future, with the plan to begin the new hours in March.
After the new plan is implemented, it would be reviewed annually, to determine what the best approach for the long-term viability of the local post office and the U.S. postal service as a whole.
While the hours of operation are going to be reduced the plan is likely going to include changes in access to post office boxes at the Morton location, with the possibility of having the lobby area open 24 hours a day seven days a week to allow the public access to their boxes.
There are currently four people who are employed at the Mor-ton office.
The public is reminded that the amount of demand as well as revenue are going to determine future decisions regarding the Morton post office location, which means it behooves those in the Morton area who do not want to see any further reductions to patronize the office for everything from stamps to shipping.
The public is reminded rural carriers can provide the same services as one would experience at the post office window, as they help with shipping and are able to sell stamps as well.
For more information about the changes taking place under what is known as the POST Plan realignment to locations across the region, visit the U.S. Postal Service Web site at www.usps.com.