Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Sharran Nelson, a United States Postal employee for 18 years, protests to keep the postal service open for six days a week during a rally outside of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Tuesday afternoon. Nelson is a mail clerk at the North Metro office in Duluth.
ALBANY Several Southwest Georgia post offices will see changes under a new reorganization plan unveiled by the postal service Wednesday.
Post offices in rural Southwest Georgia including Arabi, Poulan, Sasser, Bronwood, Putney, Plains, Ty Ty, Andersonville, Sale City, Coolidge, Damascus and Baconton, will have their hours of operation change under the new plan.
According to the USPS, the plan would keep the existing Post Office in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to P.O. Boxes would remain unchanged, and the towns' ZIP Code and community identity would be retained.
The changes vary among the various post offices. The Post Office in Baconton, for instance, will now be open only six hours per day versus eight previously; however the Post Office in Andersonville will now only be open four hours as opposed to eight.
Some will be cut even further. The Post Offices in Mystic, Ga., and Cecil, Ga., will each have their hours cut from eight to two.
The Albany Postal Processing Center is still slated for closure after May 15.
“Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve,” Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe said. “With that said, we’ve listened to our customers in rural America and we’ve heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their Post Office open. We believe today’s announcement will serve our customers’ needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability.”
The move is the latest cost-cutting measure the USPS has undertaken to keep the organization afloat. It's expected to take two years to implement all of the changes, but once finished, the post office is expecting to save $500 million annually.
The Postal Service announced in February that it would close the Albany Mail Processing Facility and consolidate it with operations in Tallahassee,
According to the Los Angeles Times, last month the Senate passed legislation aimed at making it harder to close post offices, particularly in rural areas, and steering the USPS toward other means of saving money. That measure was bemoaned by Donahoe who said it vastly limited the USPS's ability to cut spending.