‘Realignment’ of hours to keep Carlisle’s post office open
New hours will be noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday
CARLISLE — The “realignment” of its hours will enable the Carlisle’s post office to remain open, a postal official told area residents during a public meeting Monday afternoon.
Bryan L. Cramer, Customer Service Analyst and Groth Management Coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service, presented the results of a survey of Carlisle area residents on possible options for the future of their post office.
“A total of 624 customer surveys were mailed out and 166 were returned,” Cramer said. “Of the people who responded, 136 or 82 percent went for realignment of hours at their post office. Ten or 6 percent opted for the expanded delivery option. One person or 1 percent chose the village post office option. None chose the nearby post office option and 19 or 11 percent did not make a selection.”
Cramer said the survey was part of the Postal Plan Program initiated by the post office to realign retail hours — the hours the window at the post office is open — at 13,000 post offices nationwide to prevent the closing of 3,700 post offices across the country. He said the postal service considered closing 27 post offices in South Carolina, but by realigning the retail hours at 106 across the state, all but one of them would remain open. The one that will be closed is being closed because of security issues.
“Realignment of hours is going to keep these post offices open,” Cramer said. “While there will be changes in the hours, the Carlisle office will remain open.”
Cramer said that after reviewing the responses to the survey and the operation needs of the postal service in the Carlisle area, the retail hours will be noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. Currently, the post office is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“The general consensus of the survey was that the public wanted the weekday hours to be 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.,” Cramer said. “The new Saturday hours were determined because many people like to sleep late on Saturday. The feeling is that if the window is open from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. we’d get a lot more people to the post office on Saturday.”
Cramer said the new hours will be probably take affect sometime after mid-February.
While the hours the window is open will change, Cramer said the lobby hours will not and the public will continue to be able to get their mail out of the post office boxes at their convenience. He said mail deliveries will not change, either.
Cramer said that getting more people into and doing business with the post office is the goal of the realignment. He said this will not only help keep post offices like Carlisle’s open, but could also lead to possibly increasing the number of retail hours at the post office.
To do that, however, will require more people availing themselves of the services offered by the postal service and Cramer urged those present to encourage family and friends to do so.
“The postal service has lost $8.1 billion so far this year,” Cramer said. “The realignment is expected to save the postal service half-a-billion by the end of 2014.
“The number of hours your post office is open is based on workload and revenue, if they increase then the number of retail hours will increase,” he said. “Get your friends, family and neighbors to utilize the postal service because if we see demand increase the postal service will increase your post office’s hours.”
Mayor Mary Ferguson-Glenn welcomed the news that town’s post office will remain open.
“We’re pleased that the post office is going to stay open even though the hours are going to be reduced,” Ferguson-Glenn said. “Our post office is a convenience, it provides a valuable service to the community. We’re very pleased that it is going to remain open.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.