Stamp Of Disapproval

Fulks Run Residents Object To Post Office Cutting Hours

Posted: July 16, 2014

William Harlow (right), a Postal Service representative, speaks with area residents concerned about the fate of the Fulks Run post office during a public meeting held at the post office Tuesday. The office's weekday hours will be cut to four hours a day in January. (Photos by Jason Lenhart / DN-R)
David Schenk, postmaster in Orange, reviews the statistics from a recent survey about the use of the local post office with Fulks Run residents during a public meeting on Tuesday.

FULKS RUN — Fulks Run residents learned the fate of their post office Tuesday afternoon.

William Harlow, regional manager of post office operations for the U.S. Postal Service, delivered the news that the weekday hours would be reduced to four beginning in January.

It was met with chagrin by many of those who attended Tuesday’s community meeting, which was held to review the results of a recent survey the agency conducted.

“It seems like people in rural towns are getting the short end,” resident Joyce Lewis said.

Postal Service officials say the change is being made to reflect the workload at the Fulks Run post office.

A similar meeting for the Singers Glen post office is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Its hours could also be reduced to four a day on weekdays.

The Postal Service’s review of local offices is part of the Post Plan, a method of analyzing services in rural communities.

Harlow said similar scenarios are playing out nationwide.

In recent years, the Postal Service has cut hours at rural offices locally and across the country as part of an effort to lower costs to stave off operating losses.

While the Postal Service’s decision was frustrating for many in Fulks Run, it was also overwhelmingly the No. 1 choice out of four options residents had to pick from in the recent survey about how to best deliver services in the future.

In addition to reducing the hours, options included using a rural mail carrier, contracting with a local business to provide products and services, or using a post office in a nearby town.

David Schenk, the postmaster in Orange, said 146 out of 167 respondents chose the first option — to reduce the Fulks Run weekday operating hours.

“We’re not here to close the post office down,” Schenk said. “We’re adjusting the retail hours to reflect the workload.”

A final decision on the office’s new operating hours has not been made. Residents will be notified sometime before Jan. 9.

In a handout from the Postal Service given at the meeting, it was suggested the weekday hours would be noon to 4 p.m., with Saturday hours remaining 8:30 a.m. to noon.

“We aren’t adjusting the Saturday hours,” Harlow said. “We need to keep the post office open on Saturdays for customers who work during the week.”

Contact Megan Applegate at 574-6286 or mapplegate@dnronline.com



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