The United State Postal Service has come up with a cost-savings plan that affects most small-town post offices.

It would reduce the operating hours of such post offices as Andreas, Parryville, Aquashicola, and even Coaldale.

While any reduction of hours immediately translates to some inconvenience, the plan is better that the one which has been announced last July by the USPS.

Last July, the Postal Service proposed closing 3,700 small-town post offices, including those in Parryville, MaryD, and Junedale.

The new proposal keeps those post offices open, but with fewer window hours. It will also retain the zip codes for the respective communities, something that would have been lost had those post offices closed.

It's a fact the Postal Service is losing money. It's also important to note that the USPS is vital to all us for obvious reasons. That's why Congress must do all it can to keep the Postal Service healthy through financial subsidies.

It's good that the Postal Service came up with a cost-cutting plan that won't completely close down facilities in small towns. Closures would have been more difficult for the residents of those towns than the lesser hours.

There are other cost-cutting measures the Postal Service is taking, including offering a voluntary early retirement incentive for the nation's more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters.

We're likely to see more proposals coming from the USPS regarding cutting costs.

While most of us probably don't use the mail system as much as we used to, thanks to Internet and email, the Postal Service is still a necessity.

Hopefully, the Postal Service will survive the current financial crisis without making too many decisions that affect our home deliveries.

In the past, the Postal Service has consolidated processing centers, changed some of the operations at local post offices, and had previous waves of voluntary retirements.

We're glad towns like Parryville and Junedale will continue to have their individual post offices.

The proposal presented last year would have been horrible had it been left to pass. The new proposal is much better.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]