Archived Story

Meetings scheduled on changes for rural post offices

Published 1:58pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Area post offices may idle down operations if a new plan from the United States Postal Service goes through.

Community meetings are being held to explain something the Postal Service is calling the Post Plan. The process will end in September 2014 and will mean changes at low-volume postal offices.

Meetings are scheduled for Oct. 23 in Lansing, Dexter and Racine. A list of affected locations also released May 9 includes the Post Offices in Lyle, Brownsdale, Rose Creek and Waltham, though meetings have not yet been scheduled at these locations.

The dates are subject to change, and people are urged to check the Post Office to confirm meeting details.

Surveys are being sent to affected residents, and community meetings are being held to discuss the results of those surveys. Pete Nowacki, a spokesperson for the Postal Service in Minnesota, said the meetings will be a chance to give residents a timeline for how their local offices hours may change.

“We will give people the results of what happened with the survey,” Nowacki said. Local postal workers in Lansing, Dexter and Racine were unable to comment and directed all questions to Nowacki.

There will be about a 90-day process from when a resident receives a letter until changes go into effect, with the exception of the holiday period from December through Jan. 12. All changes will only impact the hours the retail window will be open; access to PO boxes, collections and mail delivery will not change.

Locally, Hartland and Bricelyn had meetings last week, and Alden, Glenville and Hartland will hold meetings Wednesday and Thursday.

Post offices under the Post Plan will remain open with different hours unless community members show a strong preference for one of the other options. The four options given in the survey are:

• Keep the post office open with different hours; i.e., change hours from eight each weekday to four.

• Close the post office but still provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided by rural carriers.

• Close the post office but find an alternative location in the community, like a local business, that could offer stamps and flat rate products.

• Close the post office and relocate PO boxes to a nearby post office.

The Postal Service will also continue to offer the option of Village Post Offices in smaller communities. They can be placed in convenience stores, libraries, businesses or other establishments. The Postal Service said benefits of this include that the business may have longer hours than the post office had and that the Village Post Office can offer the most-used products like forever stamps and flat rate boxes.

Upcoming Post Office Meetings
• Lansing: 12 p.m. Oct 23, at the Lansing Township Hall, 26938 539th Ave.
• Dexter: 2 p.m. Oct. 23, at the Dexter Fire Hall, 107 S. Main St.
• Racine: 4 p.m. Oct 23, at the Racine Village Hall (south side of building) 25 Great Western Ave. NE
—More meetings likely in November


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