Eight Western Tidewater post offices face reduced hours of operation

Published 11:21 am Saturday, June 16, 2012

BOYKINS—A proposal to cut hours at eight Western Tidewater post offices will likely inconvenience Laurel Livingston.

A woman walks into the post office in Carrsville of Friday. Hours at the office may be cut from eight to six daily. Eight post offices in Western Tidewater are being targeted for fewer hours. -- KATE ARCHER/TIDEWATER NEWS

“We’ll just have to deal with it,” said Livingston, an administrative assistant for Carter & Dwyer law firm in Boykins, where the post office could go from being open eight hours a day to six hours.

“There might be times when we will need to go to Franklin if there’s something that has to go out when they are closed (in Boykins),” she said.

The U.S. Postal service also has proposed cutting hours at post offices in Newsoms, Sedley and Zuni from eight daily to six daily. Post offices in Carrsville, Isle of Wight, Branchville and Drewryville may go from eight hours to four hours daily.

“The details haven’t been worked out yet,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Michele Martell from Richmond.

Residents in targeted communities will receive surveys after Labor Day. The Postal Service also will hold meetings in communities facing changes.

“We will have staggered meetings for each post office,” Martell said.

There’s a possibility, for instance, that the post office in Boykins may be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the office in nearby Branchville would be open from noon to 4 p.m.

“We hope to work out something so the Postal Service is as accessible as possible,” she said. “Nothing has been decided.”

Post offices chosen to go from eight hours daily to four were targeted due to the lower number of transactions, Martell said.

The proposals are part of the cash-strapped Postal Service’s attempts to cut costs, according to a news release.

The Postal Service will begin consolidating operations this summer – which mostly involve transferring mail-processing operations from smaller to larger facilities. Due to the volume of high-priority mail predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons, no consolidating activities will be conducted from September through December. Approximately 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer.

The Postal Service is also working with its unions for an employee retirement incentive, although no final decision has been made.