Public meeting set about cutbacks at Great Cacapon Post Office
The United States Postal Service is holding a public meeting about their planned cut for the Great Cacapon Post Office weekday window service hours from eight hours to six hours.
The Great Cacapon Post Office was listed for reduced hours in the POST plan that was unveiled in May by the United States Postal Service.
The Postal Service community meeting is scheduled for October 24 at 5 p.m. at the former Great Cacapon Elementary to address the cuts, answer questions and get input about the preferred weekday hours. Their decision will not be final until after the public meeting.
Results of a survey that they are mailing to Great Cacapon residents about the reduced hours and other service alternatives will be shared at the meeting.
The survey gives four options:
1) Keep the Great Cacapon Post Office open, but change the window service hours from eight hours to six hours per weekday. Saturday window service hours would remain the same. Access to post office boxes wouldn’t be affected.
2) Conduct a discontinuance study for the Post Office and provide roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided by a rural carrier. Mail delivery points would be established or maintained. Most postal services could be purchased through the carrier or at alternate access points.
3) Conduct a discontinuance study for the Post Office and establish a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. These establishments can offer stamps and flat rate products.
4) Conduct a discontinuance study for the Post Office, provide P.O. Box service through another nearby Post Office and relocate P.O. Box delivery to that office.
Unless the community shows a strong survey preference (more than 60%) for doing a discontinuance study and selecting one of the alternative sources of services, the Postal Service will change the weekday hours to six hours per day.
The option of keeping the hours as they currently are is not listed on the survey.
Customers are asked to list their mailing address and their preferred weekday window service hours.
Turn in survey
Great Cacapon Postmaster Rick Dunn is asking Great Cacapon postal customers to complete their survey and turn it in to him by Monday, October 8 so he can get the surveys to district officials by Wednesday, October 10. People can leave the completed survey in their mailbox or take it to the Post Office.
Dunn said the survey and the community meeting letter are being mailed by corporate officials. He wasn’t sure how soon residents would receive them.
Making its numbers
While Dunn couldn’t release the volume of mail that the Great Cacapon Post Office handles, he said they were making their numbers.
The mail volume increased after he told Great Cacapon residents in a letter this spring that they needed to use their local post office more if they wanted to keep it open.
Residents are mailing letters and packages there instead of at other Post Offices so their items will be counted as postal volume for the branch, he noted.
Lots of customers
The Great Cacapon Post Office serves 537 customers on a 96-mile rural route through two full-time delivery carriers. The route has grown 45 boxes in the last two years, Dunn said. The Post Office building also houses 436 delivery boxes.
Residents are always asking him if the Post Office is doing okay and if it’s going to close. They are so concerned about its future, Dunn said.
The Great Cacapon Post Office is a meeting place for the community and has a lending library and special events, Dunn said. He doesn’t feel it’s a burden on the postal system.
Paw Paw Post Office
The Paw Paw Post Office was also earmarked for future reduced hours by the United States Postal Service in May.
Paw Paw Postmaster Lori Davis said their post office was not being affected yet by the cuts.
She has received no word at this time about plans for a community meeting or customer survey regarding the Paw Paw Post Office.