Canton Post Office to scale back hours of operation
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:27 AM
Several area post offices have been under review the past few months, with the United States Postal Service looking at ways to continue providing services while also cutting operational costs. Community meetings were held in November in several of the smaller communities, including Canton, providing information and gathering opinions from the public.
According to postmaster Jackie Coyle, the new window service hours in Canton have been announced. These hours were determined following the meetings and using data collected through community surveys of postal customers. The Canton Post Office window will be open from noon until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Due to this change and a realignment of rural delivery, some postal customers in Canton will notice a later delivery while customers in Harmony may have an earlier mail delivery time.
As a side note, Coyle added the post office in Canton and Harmony will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
Coyle also reminded postal customers that one may always purchase stamps and mail packages through the mail carrier.
During the public meeting held in November in Canton, Paul Knoll, serving as the acting manager of operations for Area One, explained that the postal service is "in dire straights" and instead of closing rural post offices it wants to do "right sizing" of post offices. This includes modifying customer window hours based on the retail work load from 2011. "We analyzed how much time was spent at the retail window and came up with a recommended plan for reducing those hours based on customer need," he added.
Knoll also said that most rural post offices do not operate at a profit. "Our main source of revenue is from sales - online and over our counters," he added. The United States Postal Service has seen a 27 percent drop in retail visits between 2005 and 2011.
Canton was open eight hours a day during the week and more limited hours on Saturday mornings.
Knoll explained that the post offices included in this first wave of changes are all operating without a sitting postmaster.
Knoll also added these offices and the hours would continue to be reviewed year after year.