Hours may be reduced at many local post offices

The U.S. Postal Service may reduce the hours per day of many small North Country post offices, in order to save money.

The USPS is considering reduced hours for 632 post offices in New York state. Each is now open eight hours daily, but the USP is looking at reducing that.

Some post offices might be cut back to six hours, like Wilmington, Jay, Long Lake, Colton and St. Regis Falls.

Others are being studied for four-hour days, such as Bloomingdale, Vermontville, Lake Clear, Piercefield, Cranberry Lake and North Hudson.

Still others, like Wanakena, might be cut to two hours a day.

These post offices would still be open on Saturdays, even though the Postal Service, as another way of cutting costs, plans to end Saturday home delivery this August.

Originally, the Postal Service sought to close around 3,700 low-revenue post offices in mostly rural areas – for instance, the one in Piercefield – but after an outcry from rural communities and their lawmakers, the mail agency abandoned the plan. Now, the Postal Service is seeking to reduce the hours of roughly 13,000 rural post offices, which it says can save even more money by hiring workers and keeping offices open part-time.

That latest proposal is now being reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Postal Service hopes to hold community hearings and begin the reductions later this fall.

Other closings or reductions could also come depending on final postal legislation passed by Congress, which has the power to limit the closing of post offices. In areas that could see postal reductions, the Postal Service is proposing to open postal counters in places like convenience stores, supermarkets and office supply stores. If that works, then some local post offices could be closed.