STEELES TAVERN,Va. (WHSV)– As part of a plan to save the United States Postal Service $500 million annually, the USPS will be cutting one local post office’s hours in half, which is making many Augusta County residents upset.
“The postal service have got to start thinking like business people. You don’t open a business when you can’t get customers,” said Julie Kane, who runs an e-commerce business from home.
She and many others rely on the Steeles Tavern Post Office, but workers with the USPS say the post office isn’t making enough money to be open full time.
Ninety-three people completed a postal survey and 90 percent said that realigning hours is the best option.
“Looking at these hours, a businessman don’t stand much of a chance,” said Joe Fauber, who is concerned about limited hours.
The postal service suggest the weekday hours starting at 11 a.m., but many come before work to get their mail. Barbara Brooks, the postmaster, will even let people bring her mail after closing time.
“Post office is more central, it’s easier to get to, it’s on the highway,” said Jan Nau, who is upset about the switch to limited hours, “Cut time, you should put the time into a post office that’s doing the business.”
People are also worried about bad weather, which could mean no easy way to get to another post office nearby.
“Go winding down a little country road, in a snowstorm in a road that is not clear. This road is clear, the trucks can get in here and get us our mail,” said Kane.
“I know, I have family that works for VDOT. This road gets plowed,” said Nau.
But postal service representatives said it comes down to cutting costs and managing to keep rural post office open.
The closest post offices are in Raphine and Vesuvius.
The postmaster at large said the new hours will be posted within seven days in the post office.