It was heard multiple times in a meeting held Thursday, August
24 at the Pierceville United Methodist Church that the Pierceville
Post Office was being reviewed for a possible closure.
Bob Redden, District Discontinuance Coordinator, answered patrons
questions and explained what is going on.
The Pierceville branch is one of 3,700 post offices being reviewed.
There is a set list of criteria that makes a post office eligible
for review. In this case, Redden identified three criteria for
review: office work load, insufficient customer demand and reasonable
alternate service. The post office in Milan would be the closest
post office if the Pierceville branch were to close.
With recent electronic innovations the need for the post office
has declined. Since 2006, the number of pieces mailed through
the United States Postal Service (USPS) has decreased by 43.1
billion pieces. The postal service has tried to keep up
with the electronic age, said Redden.
Redden explained some of the electronic innovations USPS has
utilized to adapt to this new age. Recently, USPS created an
app that can be downloaded for free on any iPad,
iPod, or Droid operating system. USPS also has a website that
allows one to do almost everything that can be done at the post
office. Stamps and other packaging needs can be ordered through
the mail or purchased at Kroger, Wal-Mart and Office Depot.
The $15 billion budget for the USPS is another reason for the
review of post offices. Redden noted that by the end of September,
USPS will meet their budget for the year. According to Redden,
one thing that could help the budget issue and slow the reviews
for possible closures is the five-day mail delivery service
that the USPS has proposed to congress. It is estimated that
by eliminating Saturday mail delivery, USPS could save $3.2
billion. However, congress is currently at recess on this
issue, noted Redden.
One patron questioned what would happen to those customers with
a P.O. Box at the Pierceville Post Office. Redden explained
that one option would be putting up a mailbox and those residents
would acquire their physical address that is required by Homeland
Security. Another option is for the residents of Pierceville
is to agree to install a cluster box unit, similar to those
found in apartment complexes. The units would be located in
a central area and locked up.
Many patrons were worried about what would happen to the employees
if the post office were forced to close. According to Redden,
so far most of the employees have either retired or have been
filtered into other post offices through demotions or taking
a decrease in pay. He stated that no one has been laid off through
the post office closures.
Redden emphasized there has been no decision made on this review.
Questionnaires were available at the meeting for patrons to
fill out and are also available at the post office. Information
from the questionnaires will be considered in the review process.
Redden said the review process should take approximately five
months, and any decision made should be known around the first
of next year. Redden assured no matter what the decision, Pierceville
citizens will be well aware of what is going on with their post
office. Congressional representatives recently had a similar
meeting in Cincinnati and can answer any questions patrons may
Residents of Pierceville gathered at
the Pierceville United Methodist Church last Thursday
to hear from Bob Redden, District Discontinuance Coordinator
for the postal service as he listened to questions about
the possible closure of the Pierceville Post Office.