The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 5, 2012

Postal Service plans community meetings on possible cutbacks

Communities in Greenbrier and Monroe counties will host meetings over the next two months conducted by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to gather feedback on possible reductions in window service hours at local post offices.

The first of three meetings announced for the area will be conducted Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenville Community Center on W.Va. 122.

The officer-in-charge at the Greenville Post Office, Geneva Atwell, said, “All of our customers were sent a letter — and one is also posted at the post office — outlining the operating hour changes that are under consideration. There are several options proposed, and the customers are supposed to discuss which option they want at the community meeting.”

According to U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., on Aug. 23 the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the USPS’s POSTPlan, designed to allow affected communities to opt for a reduction in window hours rather than see their local post offices close as a cost-cutting measure.

Other options on the table included roadside mailbox delivery, establishment of a contractor-operated postal location or relocating P.O. box service to a nearby post office.

The customer surveys have been reviewed by the USPS, and the results of those surveys are the focus of this round of community meetings, Rahall noted.

Atwell has already been through this process before, as the postmaster in Paint Bank, Va. She said that post office was ultimately closed by the USPS.

After the Paint Bank P.O. closed, Atwell was transferred to the Greenville facility a little less than a year ago.

“They’re trying not to close this one,” Atwell said during a telephone interview from her Monroe County post.

Rahall stated, “There is a plan on the table from the Postal Service, and I urge residents and businesses to inform themselves about how it will impact them, and allow their voices to be heard.”

Final decisions about the future of each facility on the list will be posted in the post office lobby no sooner than seven days after the community meeting.

Community meetings are also scheduled to discuss options for the Crawley Post Office and the Asbury Post Office. The Crawley meeting will be held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Clintonville Fire Department on U.S. 60. The Asbury meeting will be conducted Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Asbury Community Center on Old Asbury Road.

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