After much debate, the post offices in Etta and Dumas will not be closing.
The U.S. Postal Service recently announced a new strategy that could keep the nation’s smallest post offices open for business.
According to a press release issued by the federal agency, the revised plan would allow several hundred rural post offices, including the ones in Etta and Dumas, to remain open, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use.
Access to the retail lobby and to post office boxes would remain unchanged, and the town’s ZIP Code and community identity would be retained.
“Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO. “We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve.
“With that said, we’ve listened to our customers in rural America and we’ve heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their post office open. We believe [this announcement] will serve our customers’ needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability.”
The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014. Once the plan is completed, Postal Service officials say, the agency estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually.
“The Postal Service is committed to serving America’s communities and providing a responsible and fair approach for our employees and customers,” said Megan Brennan, Postal Service chief operating officer. “The post offices in rural America will remain open unless a community has a strong preference for one of the other options. We will not close any of these rural post offices without having provided a viable solution.”
The Postal Service will provide an opportunity for the Postal Regulatory Commission to review this plan prior to making any changes. The Postal Service intends to file a request for an advisory opinion on the plan with the PRC later this month. Community meetings would then be conducted to review options in greater detail.
Postal officials say that communities will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of these meetings.