Postal service to host community meeting

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Michelle Williams

The Douglassville, Kildare and Marietta post offices previously made the list as did the Lodi facility in neighboring Marion County.

Another rural post office has landed on the U.S.P.S. register of facilities under consideration for potential service reductions.

According to a letter mailed to patrons: "The Bivins PO was among the offices evaluated under the POST (Point of Services Terminal ) Plan criteria. The Postal Service is now soliciting community input through the enclosed survey to help determine the best course of action for providing postal services to your community."

Bivins post office patrons were given the opportunity, in January, to complete a U.S.P.S. survey included with the letter


offering four change-in-services options indicating the Bivins office will, at the least, no longer be open eight hours daily.

Whether changes take place will hinge on how adjustments would best serve the local community and benefit the postal service, said McKinney Boyd, U.S.P.S. public relations representative.

Boyd noted U.S.P.S. surveys were sent to all residents in an effort to garner input from those who use the post office.

He said no decisions have been made regarding possible modifications and pointed out the purpose of collecting surveys is to gather public input.

In addition, Boyd said an upcoming community meeting will be held to engage the public in discussions with the U.S.P.S.

The community meeting will be held starting 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Bivins Community Center, 143 Morse Road, Bivins.

Boyd encouraged all Bivins post office patrons to complete and return surveys and attend the community meeting.

"Nothing has been determined at this time. We will go in and hold a community meeting to discuss operating hours that would best serve the community and the postal service," he said.

Options for Bivins post office services are, according to a U.S.P.S. public notice:

*Keep the office open based on actual office workload. In the case of Bivins PO, hours would be reduced from 8 hours each weekday to 4 hours per weekday. Current Saturday hours will not change as a result of POST Plan and access to delivery receptacles will not be impacted by POST Plan.

* Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and offer roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided through a rural carrier. Mail delivery points will be established and customers can purchase most postal services through the carrier or other alternate access points.

* Conduct a continuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. When businesses are found that meet criteria, these establishments are contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and offer stamps and flat rate products with service hours generally more expansive than what the local Post Office will be able to offer.

* Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide P.O. Box service via another nearby Post Office and relocate P.O. Box delivery to that Post Office.

Should operating hours be reduced, Boyd said open and close times at the Bivins office could be arranged in a variety of four-hour increments including from 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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