(July 7, 2014) What’s the future of rural postal services? Locations across the country have closed their doors or cut their hours due to financial struggles for the United States Postal Service.
What’s causing the change? With new technology like social media and text messaging, the need for the postal service isn’t what it used to be. But in many small towns here in Nebraska, people still depend on it.
Three years ago, the US Postal Service announced a plan to close nearly 3,700 Post Offices across the country to cut costs. But, after receiving backlash from small towns, they amended their decision. Instead, they decided to cut hours.
Over the past few months, 9 area post offices have had community meetings to determine the fate of their locations. One of those was a meeting held in June for the Giltner Post Office. Residents say they depend on their local service.
“A lot of us are here and we don’t like to drive for 30 miles or 40 miles to someplace else to mail our mail,” said Giltner resident Karen Alder.
Giltner had to decide whether to shut their doors or cut hours. They decided to cut down to a four-hour day. They were open from 7:30 to 4:25, but soon they will be open from noon to 4. Residents say they are relieved that their Post Office will stay put.
“I think we’re all glad it’s not closing. It’s a good thing to keep it open because we need it. I think it’s a real good thing to have the post office even for the 4 hours that it’s gonna be open,” said Joan Eastman.
The changes for the Giltner Post Office go into effect on July 26th. Nationwide, more than 9,000 offices have adjusted their hours based on customer use. 4,900 locations have also switched to four hour days.