Daily operating hours of the Liberty Post Office may soon be reduced in a cost saving measure by the U.S. Postal Service.
Scott Tinsley, Post Office Operations Manager for the Tennessee District, held a community meeting at the Liberty Post Office Wednesday to explain the changes. About twenty concerned postal customers in the area showed up to learn more about the plan.
"Today we discussed the changing of hours of the Liberty Post Office, basically going from a full eight hour a day office down to six hours a day at the retail window," said Tinsley. "The hours currently at the Liberty Post Office are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.. They close for lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and then they reopen at 1:00 p.m. and close at 4:00 p.m. Saturday hours are 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. What we have proposed is for the Liberty Post Office to be open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. with a two hour lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.. Saturday hours would be from 7:45 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. It's not a big change for the community. They will just see a reduced amount of time there where they can buy stamps and purchase other postal products," he said.
The current staff will remain in place including Postal Support Employee, Sharon George along with the two postal carriers and substitute. The current mail routes will also remain unchanged. "Everybody will still see their carrier probably about the same time everyday out on the route and the carriers can still sell them stamps and pick up their packages. All those things remain the same," said Tinsley.
Liberty postal customers recently received surveys outlining four different options for the Liberty Post Office. A total of 987 customer surveys were mailed and 219 of them were returned. Eighty eight percent of the respondents (193 customers) said given the options they preferred a realignment of the hours.
The Postal Service will make its final decision on the change soon. "The decision will be made no sooner than thirty days after today (Wednesday). Typically about sixty days out. We'll post a notice in the lobby of the Liberty Post Office letting all the customers know the date the new hours will go into effect," said Tinsley.
Many smaller Post Offices across the nation are being affected by cost saving initiatives being implemented by the U.S. Postal Service. "When the smaller facilities get vacated by Post Masters across the country, we're going in and reducing the hours a little bit where we can. We're looking to save about $500 million a year from implementing these changes nationwide. We're doing this instead of closing Post Offices so that we can keep them in communities," Tinsley concluded.