LOCKHART — Applause filled the Lockhart Town Hall Friday afternoon as an official with the U.S. Postal Service announced that the town’s post office would remain open.
Bryan Cramer, postal service Customer Service Analyst and Growth Management Coordinator, told a standing room only crowd of Lockhart residents that the town’s post office would not be closed. Instead, its hours would be “realigned” in accordance with the results of a survey of area residents on possible option for the town’s post office conducted earlier this year.
Cramer said of the 313 surveys mailed out, 134 were returned. Of those, 124 or 92 percent chose realignment of the post office’s hours.
“Taking into consideration the survey results, the needs of the postal service and the workload, your post office will remain open and will not close,” Cramer said. “We’d like to see it remain open into the future.”
Cramer said that beginning sometime after mid-February, the retail hours — the hours the window at the post office is open — at the post office would be 8 a.m. to noon on weekdays. Currently, the weekday retail hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday’s retail hours are 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Cramer said this would not change. He said the lobby would remain open 24 hours a day.
As he did when he gave similar good news to Carlisle residents in late November, Cramer told Lockhart residents that the survey was part of the Postal Plan Program initiated by the post office to realign retail hours at 13,000 post offices nationwide to prevent the closing of 3,700 of them. This included 27 in South Carolina which the post office considered closing but with realignment of 106 post offices across the state will be able to keep all but one of them open. The other will be closed because of security issues.
Cramer said the postal service has lost $8.1 billion this year and realignment is projected to save it half-a-billion by the end of 2014. As he did in Carlisle, Cramer urged those present to use the post office’s services and encourage friends and family members to do the same and help ensure their post office remains open and perhaps even increase its retail hours.
One of those who joined Cramer in calling on the public to use the post office was Mayor Ailene Ashe.
“I’m delighted that the post office is not closing,” Ashe said. “I would like for people to buy more stamps at the post office and do more business at the post office.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.