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If you live in Pleasureville or regularly use the post office there, you may have to adjust your plans.
Pleasureville Post Office is one of several in Henry County that have been notified by the United States Postal Service that they will have to operate on a reduced schedule.
This national cost-cutting strategy will save the postal service what it hopes is an estimated half-billion dollars annually. The USPS made a 2-year strategy for reducing its lost revenue and financial instability by reducing hours across the nation and examined post offices throughout the county based on customer usage and have already had town meetings about the reduction. Last year the USPS closed the Mount Eden PO in Shelby County.
Effective March 23, the Pleasureville Post Office will be open 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
Starting Feb. 23, the Smithfield PO, which also serves some parts of Shelby County, will be open 12-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays.
“We don’t want small towns to lose their identity,” said David Walton, spokesperson for the USPS area that includes Henry County. “We took surveys and asked residents what they wanted. Most chose a reduction in hours instead of closings. The meetings are taking place where there isn’t a sitting postmaster.”
Retail window hours will change for residents at the Bethlehem, Pleasureville, Smithfield, New Castle and Sulphur post offices.
“We are a unique government agency. We don’t get tax dollars. We did at one time, but not now. We are mandated by Congress to prefund our retiree pay for health benefits. We don’t get any government money. A lot of people don’t realize that.”
The U.S. Government Accountability Office released in their findings, according to Walton, that the U.S. Postal service’s deteriorating financial outlook will have difficulties prefunding the current schedule of retirees.
The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act is based off a 44-year schedule to pay a remaining $48 billion of projected benefits for about 471,000 current retirees and partial benefits for 528,000 current employees.
“We are looking at Congress to change this, but E-mail and other services have drastically reduced our revenue,” Walton said. “The meetings for the Port Royal and Sulphur Post Offices are slated to have their hours reduced. We have haven’t scheduled those meetings yet. Those meetings could happen anytime between now, the end of the year or beginning in 2014.”
Walton said the USPS will reduce hours at more than 13,000 post offices and a voluntary early retirement incentive is being offered for more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters nationwide.