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Thursday most likely will see a large crowd crossing the street from the Bagdad Post Office to Bagdad Baptist Church, if officials are correct about the community’s interest in the future of the post office there.
“We do expect a good turnout,” said Michelle Games, officer in charge of the Bagdad Post Office.
The community meeting, scheduled for 5 p.m., will permit postal service officials to gain public input on whether or not people want to see the post office shut down or begin operating on reduced hours.
A survey, distributed to customers by the U.S. Postal Service, explains that at the meeting, people will be given three options from which to choose: keep the post office open and reduce hours, close the office and get service from another nearby post office or a rural carrier, or open a village post office.
Games said the meeting has to begin at the post office, but if it gets too crowded, the group will have to go over to the church across the street.
“That could happen; I think we’ll probably have a good turnout,” she said.
Bagdad is the third of the six post offices in Shelby County to go on the postal service’s list of offices to receive reduced hours.
The Bagdad Post Office will be joining the ranks of the Finchville, where hours were cut in half in February, and now operates only from noon to 4 p.m., and the Pleasureville, which went from an 8-hour to a 6-hour day on Saturday.
The Waddy Post Office is also on the list to go from an 8-hour day to a 6-hour day, but David Walton, community program specialist, said he does not know when that will that will take place.
“I have no idea on the time frame for Waddy,” he said. “I just know we have to have all these done by September of 2014.”
Kipp Waller, postmaster at Waddy, said he has not heard anything about when surveys will go out, either.
“I don’t know when they’re going to do them,” he said.
There are 13,000 rural post offices nationwide slated to have their hours reduced, some by as much as half. Walton said this is an effort by the postal service to keep small post offices open, something that will, hopefully, help return the postal service to financial stability.
The Mount Eden Post Office closed in 2011, but that was initiated because its lease couldn’t be renewed in the building that it occupied.