Tribune-Courier General Manager
HARDIN – In a sweeping cost-saving measure, the U.S. Postal Service last week announced plans to reduce the number of hours hundreds of rural post offices will operate beginning in September 2014.
The Hardin post office is among those on the list to operate at a reduced number of hours. Currently the Hardin Post Office is open eight hours a day. The proposed plan calls for that to be reduced by two hours to six per day.
Other area post offices on the list include Symsonia, Grand Rivers, and Dexter. Each of those post office’s hours will be cut in half, from eight to four.
The U.S. Postal Service has seen a 4 percent decrease in first-class mail in just the last quarter and officials have acknowledged cuts are eminent. The agency reported a $3.2 billion loss during the first quarter of 2012, $1 billion more than the same period last year.
The original plan called for the cuts to close 3,700 small rural post offices nationwide. Rural offices and their customers complained loudly, causing officials to take a second look at the plan. They say the current plan should save the U.S. Postal Service about a half a billion dollars.