New plan: rural Iowa post offices to remain open, but with reduced hours

News

May 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Nearly 180 post offices in Iowa that were on a list for possible closure will now remain open, but with limited hours. The decision announced today (Wednesday) by the U.S. Postal Service follows months of backlash from rural residents at public meetings. USPS spokesman Rich Watkins says Iowa’s smallest post offices, if they’re still open, will remain open under the revised plan. “We’ll keep the post office there, the zip code and the community identity,” Watkins said. “There will still be a postal service employee there, but due to the declining workload, it would be open two, four or perhaps six hours a day.” The revised plan is expected to save the USPS $500 million a year. Watkins said the “multi-phased” strategy would be implemented over a two-year period, through September 2014. Around 13-thousand (13,000) post offices around the country are included under the new plan – including 178 of the more than 900 post offices in Iowa. Watkins said the reduced hours are needed to address an ever decreasing mail volume. “We have to better match our workforce in the facilities that we maintain with a declining work load,” Watkins said. “Going forward, we think this strikes a healthy balance for both our customers and the postal service.”

In the KJAN listening area, these are just some of the post offices that would be affected: (City, current & proposed hours of operation)

Adair 8/6; Bridgewater 8/4; Brayton 8/2; Carson 8/6; Casey 8/4; Cumberland 8/4; Defiance 8/4; Earling 8/4; Elk Horn 8/6; Elliott 8/4; Exira 8/6; Grant 4/2; Irwin 8/4; Kimballton 8/4; Lewis & Macedonia 8/4; Macksburg 4/2; Marne 6/4; Menlo 8/4; Manilla 8/6; Massena 8/4; Neola 8/6; Orient 8/4; Panama 8/4; Persia 8/4; Portsmouth 8/4; Prescott 8/4; Redfield 8/4; Shelby 8/4; Stanton 8/6; Underwood 8/6; Walnut 8/6; Wiota 4/2.

The complete list can be found at: http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/assets/pdf/postplan-affected-post-offices-120509.pdf

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)