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Mt. Pulaski Post Office To Cut Hours
"Sometimes in these small communities the post office is the only building that flies the American flag," Post Office Clerk and Mt. Pulaski resident Lynda Klumpp said.
And the flag at the Mt. Pulaski Post Office will keep flying after a survey found the community wanted to keep it open.
There is one catch: The Post Office can only stay open if it cuts its hours.
The Mt. Pulaski Post Office will reduce the time its retail window is open by 2.5 hours a week. Saturday mail service will also be offered earlier: from 7:45 to 9:45 in the morning instead 8:30 to 10:30.
"It's important for the public to know that the postal service does want to be part of the community and we want to provide service and we do not want disrupt the lives of our customers," Melvin Arps Jr., Manager of Post Office Operations, said.
Arps held a public meeting in Mt. Pulaski Wednesday afternoon to let everyone know about the changes.
After the surveys came back the Postal Service found 92 percent of the community wanted the Mt. Pulaski Post Office to stay open, even if that meant reducing the hours.
Two percent were willing to lose the local post office as long as they could keep their home mail delivery.
The options of having a local business act as a retail center for the post office or having other nearby post offices pick up the slack in the event of a Mt. Pulaski Post Office closure were not picked at all.
Everyone else who sent in surveys, which was 6 percent, did not chose an option.
Klumpp was one of them. She fears reduced hours will just make things worse.
“You can't just get up and go you gotta stop because it's not open right then. And that's a way that you will start losing business because people will start paying them all online," Klumpp said.
Klumpp is talking about bills, an issue Mt. Pulaski Mayor Jim Fuhrer is also worried about.
“Our water bills," Fuhrer said. "It would be a burden for the city for our mass mailing or bills. We have to go out of town and that to me is ridiculous."
But it is not ridiculous for everyone. Debra Gellin, who owns local fashion boutique Saddie’s Secret Place, said most of the mail that comes her way is junk.
And when it isn’t, "my vendors and suppliers use UPS or FedEx,” Gellin said.
Of the 1,051 households sent the survey, 377 responded. That is about 36 percent.
If you have a P.O. Box at the Mt. Pulaski Post Office you will still have access to that 24 hours a day. The changes will also not affect mail carriers, who will deliver the mail as usual.
The new hours will go into effect in May but no word on a specific date. We're told all of these developments could change, especially as the debate on a national level continues over the possible cancellation of Saturday mail service.