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Cutbacks proposed for area post offices


Six area post offices could lose some hours but remain open under the latest U.S. Postal Service plan to reduce overall costs.

The Postal Service had earlier released a plan to close 3,700 rural post offices across the nation in an effort to stop the flow of red ink that has plagued the agency for several years.

The new plan was formally announced May 10, and provides options for rural post offices that were slated to close.

The change of heart came on the heels of political pressure legislators felt from citizens living within service areas of post offices slated for closure. No local post offices had been targeted for closure, but would have hours reduced under the new plan.

Under the plan Coulee Dam’s post office would remain open, but its hours would go from eight hours a day to six.

Elmer City would see its hours cut from eight to four.

Creston would likewise see hours cut from eight to six.

Almira, Hartline and Keller would all have hours reduced from eight to four hours.

The plan for closing more than half the mail processing centers around the United States is still of major concern for those who rely on the mail for a variety of functions.

“Although NNA is pleased with Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s willingness to work with rural communities to keep their post offices open,” said National Newspaper Association President Reed Anfinson, “of continuing and greater concern is the plan for closing more than half the mail processing centers around the country. The proposed cuts would have a devastating impact on the delivery of mail, including newspapers, prescription drugs and packages across rural America. The mail is more important in rural America than in many other spots around the country. For newspapers, it is the key to helping us fulfill our roles as the tribunes of civic engagement."

The USPS announcement did not address the possibility of closing post offices and stopping mail delivery on Saturdays.

A Postal Service official said it will soon file a new plan before the Postal Regulatory Commission, detailing the options it intends to offer small towns.

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