By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will hold a meeting at the Scandia Valley Town Hall to discuss future options for the Cushing Post Office.
The USPS Post Office Structure Plan (PostPlan) is designed to make sure America’s communities have continued access to products and services as it changes the postal network to reflect the nation’s use of its services. Each year, the USPS will look at the amount of mail going through each office and adjust the hours it feels are necessary.
A survey was sent to those with Cushing addresses and the results of those returned will be discussed. Questions will be answered by the postal employees present.
While the survey results will be shared, the Postal Service will not make a final decision regarding the Cushing office until after the public meeting. This allows the Postal Service to obtain all community input and opinions before making a final decision.
The survey included four options for Cushing residents to choose from. They include:
• Keeping the office open, based on actual office workload. The Cushing Post Office hours would be reduced each weekday from 6.75 hours to four hours and Saturdays would remain the same. The PostPlan would not limit access to post office boxes;
• Conducting a discontinuance study for the Cushing office and offer roadside mailbox delivery, provided by a rural carrier. Delivery points would be established and customers may purchase most services through the carrier or other access point;
• Conducting a discontinuance study for the office and finding an alternative location operated by a contractor, usually a local business. If a business is located that meets the Postal Service’s criteria, it would be contracted through the Postal Service and would offer stamps and flat rate products with service hours usually greater that what the Postal Office would have offered; and
• Conducting a discontinuance study for the office and provide post office box service via another nearby post office.
Cushing Postmaster Jim Walker said the Eagle Bend and Verndale post offices have had their hours reduced to six per day and Clarissa will be following suit. Berth’s post office has been reduced to four hours a day and Flensburg and Fort Ripley to two hours per day.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The Scandia Valley Town Hall is located at 3518 320th Street. For more information, contact the Cushing Postmaster at (320) 749-2724.