Williamsville post office to reduce hours
Williamsville, Va. –
The Williamsville post office will stay open, but with reduced hours. At a meeting at the Williamsville community center last week, postal officials presented a plan to realign the retail window hours at the post office offering four hours of service daily Monday through Saturday.
Sonny Cubbage is the Manager of Post Office Operations for the Mountain Area.
“I know about two years ago they had some heated meetings in this area and rightfully so, because I know they wanted to close the post office,” says Cubbage. “So I think that folks were glad to hear that we have no intentions of doing that at this time. You know, I tell every community the future of the post office is what the community makes of it. I encourage everyone to use the Postal Service. Have their friends, family use the Postal Service because that’s going to be the future of it.”
Previously the Postal Service had considered a plan to close small post offices across the country. It’s now come up with a plan to offer reduced hours or alternative locations to save money, but still provide service.
To get feedback on options for the Williamsville post office, the Postal Service mailed out 157 surveys. Ninety one were returned and nine of those could not be counted due to a missing address or no selection being made. There were four options on the survey: 1. Keep the post office open, but with reduced weekday window service. 2. Discontinue the office and offer roadside mailbox delivery with retail and delivery services provided by the carrier. 3. Find a suitable alternative location, usually at a local business. 4. Discontinue the office and relocate PO box service to a nearby post office.
Ninety percent of those who returned a survey selected the reduced hours option. No one selected any of the other options. In two years the workload and revenue at the Williamsville post office will be reviewed again. After that review, the hours could stay the same, or be increased to six per weekday or reduced to two hours per day.
Pam Webb is a Williamsville resident who led the effort three years ago to save the Williamsville post office. At that time the post office had lost its lease and was slated for closure, but Webb and the community rallied for the post office and built a new building to house it.
“My only concern is, is that I know I spearheaded the effort and, at the end of that two years will be the end of our first five year contract with them,” says Webb. “So then I have a concern about if it will renew again for another five. I need to go back and reread the contract just to see if they are obligated. I think originally when we went to them we asked for it to be renewed for at least ten years and that was what we tried to do. So you know I do have a concern about that because it’s right at that deadline. But I am pleased at least it is staying open, so all of our efforts weren’t put to a bitter end.”
The proposed retail window hours for the Williamsville post office are Monday through Saturday 9 to 1. The new hours will probably take effect January 12 and access to post office boxes will be unchanged.
Bacova is the other Bath County post office that was previously being considered for possible closure. Cubbage indicated that it may be looked at in early spring of 2013 under this new plan.