The U.S. Post office plans to slash in half the daily hours the post office in Coaldale is open, from eight to four. On Tuesday, one borough councilman shared a letter he received from the Association of United States Postal Lessors, a group of people who lease buildings to the Postal Service, asking borough residents to let the U.S. Post Office know they want to keep their local post office open, even if it means reduced hours.
Councilman Joe Hnat told council about the letter, which refers to the U.S. Post office's POStplan, a strategy to cut hours at 13,000 post offices nationwide to as little as two hours a day, or close them completely.
"Clearly, a fully functional post office, open eight hours a day, six days a week, is vital to every small town and rural community in the United States," the letter said.
"Moreover, rural communities like yours are often at an economic disadvantage when it comes to government services. The post office is often the only governmental agency in town. It is well known that many seniors depend on postmasters to assist them with bill paying, mailing packages and purchasing money orders," the letter said.
It goes on to say that the "Postal Service has profiled your post office as unprofitable, even though it is prohibited by federal law from discontinuing a post office for financial reasons."
The letter asks people to check the Option for Reduced Hours in the USPS Customer Survey. The surveys will be mailed to USPS customers and will be made available at post offices over the next two years. Public meetings will also be scheduled.
The letter also invited people to visit www.auspl.com to learn more about the issues.
In Pennsylvania, 204, or 12 percent, of the state's 1,730 post offices are scheduled to be closed. They include the ones in Parryville, Mary D, and Pocono Manor.
Post offices in Andreas, Barnesville, Beaver Meadows, Tresckow, Gilbert, Bowmanstown, Breinigsville, Cherryville and Danielsville, New Tripoli and Polk are scheduled to be cut from eight hours a day to six.
Post offices in Coaldale, Ashfield, Delano, Parryville, Quakake, Cumbola, Mary D, Middleport, New Philadelphia, Port Carbon, Tuscarora, and Aquashicola would be cut from eight hours a day to four.
Meetings are planned this month for people to discuss the closings and cutbacks for the following post offices: Adamsburg, Ardara, Arendtsville, Arnot, Beaver Springs, Bendersville, Cedars, Centerville, Cherryville, Crown, Curllsville, Danielsville, Distant, Durham, Elliottsburg, Franklintown, Freeburg, Gardners, Guys Mills, Ickesburg, Jacobs Creek, Jones Mills, Kleinfeltersville, Kreamer, Lawn, Liberty, Morris, Mount Aetna, New Tripoli, Ohiopyle, Pineville, Port Trevorton, Rehrersburg, Rexmont, Rushland, Sheakleyville, Strausstown, and Villa Maria.