The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

October 29, 2012

Meetings spotlight changes in rural post office hours

OTTUMWA — Many rural communities are one step closer to knowing the updated schedules for their local post office.

Informational meetings are being held in each of the post offices chosen to have their hours reduced in the U.S. Postal Service’s effort to restructure and become more financially stable.

Richard Watkins, corporate communications spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Kansas City, says the informational meetings have not been a time to plead anyone’s case. They are an opportunity to share the facts about what is taking place and learn what the community wants the hours of their facility to be.

“Some people still wonder if their post office is closing. No, we’re just talking about what hours you want,” Watkins explained. “And we’re not relitigating the decision to decrease hours - that is going forward. We just have to put all the information together for them.”

In each of the affected communities, each address received a survey from the Postal Service. On it were four choices about what they wanted most for their post office and what hours of operation would benefit them best.

This information was tabulated and posted to the Post Office website. At the meetings being held during the months of October and November, these results are being presented to the community.

“We don’t assume to know what the community wants. We’d rather let them decide what works best for them,” he said.

In July 2011, the postal service announced that more than 3,500 post offices were being considered for closure. In the aftermath, thousands of community meetings were held and surveys were conducted. Survey research conducted by Opinion Research Corporation in February 2012 showed 54 percent of rural customers didn’t want their post offices closed.

In May 2012, in response to this outcry from residents in towns whose post offices were facing closure, the postal service offered an option. The rural post office would be kept open while reducing their hours of availability. Watkins says that 85-95 percent of those surveyed replied that they’d rather have shortened hours than have their post office close completely.

Watkins says that the post offices selected for shortened hours were based on workload, revenue and retail transactions. From 2006-11, there were 200 million fewer visits to local post office facilities than in previous years. This means making an adjustment to the number of post offices available and the hours they are open.

Last year, 35 percent of the Post Office’s total revenue came from a location other than traditional brick-and-mortar post office. This includes purchasing stamps and mailing supplies at convenience stores, grocery stores and online at the Post Office website.

Watkins says that number is up to nearly 40 percent in 2012 already.

“It doesn’t mean they’re not purchasing, it just means they’re going somewhere else to make their purchases. We have to pay attention to that,” Watkins said.

For a schedule of upcoming meetings, to view the results of the area surveys, to see a list of communities affected or get more information about the Post Office’s overall plan, visit http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm.

1
Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard color cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book

    ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National