The United States Postal Service is proposing to close or reduce hours of operation of the post office in the center of town at 10 Lonetown Road — across from town hall.
A community meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 9, at 1 p.m. at town hall in order for residents ask questions and receive more information from the postal service.
First Selectman Julia Pemberton said she asked if the meeting could be moved to a later time but that did not happen.
In a letter sent to customers, Tatiana Roy, plan coordinator, said the postal service has established a review process for certain post offices know as the POST Plan. The Redding Center Post Office was among the offices evaluated under the POST Plan criteria.
The postal service issued a survey to its customers asking to select one of four alternatives instead of closing the post office.
The first alternative is to keep the office open, but with realigned weekday window service hours, based on actual office workload. In the case of the Redding Post Office, hours would be changed from eight hours each weekday to four hours per weekday. Current Saturday window service hours will not change as a result of the POST Plan and access to delivery receptacles will not be impacted.
The second: Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided through a rural carrier. Mail delivery points will be established or maintained and customers may purchase most postal services through the carrier or other alternate access points. Delivery service will not be affected.
Third alternative: Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. When businesses are found that meet the criteria, these establishments are contracted through the United States Postal Service and offer stamps and flat rate products with service hours generally more expansive than what the local post office may be able to offer.
The fourth alternative is to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide P.O. box service through another nearby post office and relocate P.O. box delivery to that post office.
Survey results were due back by June 25. After receiving the results of the survey, the postal service will examine the responses and, unless the community has a strong preference, more than 60%, for conducting the discontinuance study and establishing one of the alternatives, the postal service will maintain a four-hour per weekday schedule and keep regular Saturday window service hours and access to delivery receptacles.
Ms. Pemberton said that Redding is unique for being a small town with four post offices.
She said she is interested to hear what the postal service has to say.
“I’d like to see it stay open. It’s a central location in town but I understand the business realities,” said Ms. Pemberton.
Changing the hours of the post office will have a “great impact” on residents in this area, she said.
If there has to be a change, she said, she would prefer the four-hour a day schedule.