(July 16, 2014) Postal customers in Montague will see a reduction in hours at the town’s post office. For several years, the U.S. Postal Service has been trying to cut operating costs. And as Mechell Dixon found out, last night the service told residents there will be a reduction in hours in the town’s post office.
Montague customers were recently mailed a survey on their preferences if changes had to be made and during last night’s public meeting at the Montague Community Center it was announced the overwhelming choice from survey’s is to reduce hours from seven to six hours a day.
For three years, Larry Carter has run Christ Can Food Bank in Montague. He says a few times a week he walks to the end of the block to visit the post office but the hours of operation listed on the door will soon change, which concern Carter.
“It’s a vital importance for the people that live here in this community and the courthouse and district and county offices and all that stuff. I know they use it quite a bit,” Carter says.
Now, the Montague post office is open seven hours on weekdays and two Saturday mornings. Soon those hours may be reduced.
For decades, use of first class mail has been declining as people choose alternative ways to communicate, pay bills and share information. The continued decline in revenue has forced the Postal Service to cut operation costs and the first places to be closed or have hours reduced are usually the lower volume rural post offices.
In 2012, the postal service looked into closing hundreds of rural post offices, including several in Texoma. However, after an outcry from rural customers and communities the postal service developed a new plan that would keep many rural post offices open but reduce operating hours to reflect actual demand.
And Carter says he’s glad the Montague post office doors will remain open even though the hours will be reduced.
“It’s a real convenience for the community and I don’t want to see it just go away cause it’s 10 miles in either direction to another post office,” Carter says.
Postal officials have not decided what the new hours will be or when they’ll become effective. They’re only saying retail service for customers will still be provided six days a week.