The recent distribution of a survey by the United States Postal Service could help save over a dozen local branches.
The survey, part of USPS’ POST Plan, is being administered to Texans served by offices in low population density areas. That includes citizens in Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt and Lamar counties. For a complete list of these local post offices, click here and search the 75*** area codes on pages 214 and 215.
Customers are given four options, the first being to keep their office open, but with fewer retail hours. For example, post office hours in Ben Franklin would be reduced from 8 to 2 each weekday. Current Saturday window service hours will not change as a result of POST Plan and access to delivery receptacles will not be impacted. Here's a sample survey.
Options 2-4 each describe a discontinuance study, with (2) retail and delivery services to be offered through a rural carrier, (3) finding a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, or (4) to relocate P.O. Box service to a nearby post office.
The initial objective was to utilize customer perspectives and their creativity in the determination of how to cost effectively deliver service to low population density areas. Some unexpected perspectives and solutions were discovered.
When the customers were educated on the current market conditions and challenges of the USPS, they changed from a diverse group with diverse demands to a unified group ready to assist the mission of the USPS.
Locals bound together in previously held meetings to determine the core of what they needed and presented many options that met the budgets presented to them. These citizens also went beyond these possibilities and described a USPS that would be equal across all areas of service and significantly lower costs.