The U.S. Postal Service announced a new strategy yesterday that could keep the nation’s smallest Post Offices open for business, while providing a framework to achieve significant cost savings as part of the plan to return the organization to financial stability.
The plan would keep the existing Post Office in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to PO Boxes would remain unchanged, and the town’s ZIP Code and community identity would be retained.
The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014. Once implementation is completed, the Postal Service estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually.
SD Rep. Kristi Noem and other rural lawmakers applauded U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s announcement that the Postal Service would not be closing rural post offices, but implementing other cost-saving measures instead:
“This is encouraging news for South Dakota. When I met with postal officials late last year, I reiterated how important the Postal Service was to folks in our state. From benefits to medication and other deliveries, South Dakota’s rural residents rely heavily on the service rural post offices provide. I applaud the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe for listening to the voices of America’s rural residents and finding alternatives to keep these rural post offices open. There is no question the Postal Service must make adjustments to deal with the realities of an increasingly digital world, but I appreciate its efforts to ensure savings can be achieved in a way that does not jeopardize service to rural America.”
Source: Official Post Office release & office of Representative Noem