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Local Post Offices Considered For New PT Plan

The United States Postal Service announced a new strategy Wednesday to keep the doors of our most rural post offices open while still saving money.

The plan is pretty simple: USPS is going to cut hours at rural locations.

Those post offices will be open less, cutting employee hours and benefits, and saving some money.

It would let the USPS put $500 million back in its pockets every year, which sounds good, until you consider that the Postal Service is projecting an $8 billion loss for this year alone, said spokesperson David Rupert.

“This has given us no joy. When you’re faced with that kind of deficit — we pay our own way, we don’t get tax payer money, so we’re looking at, ‘What else can we cut?'” he said.

The plan probably won’t make people happy, Rupert said, but it is optimizing the resources that the post office has. With this plan, the USPS has taken the 3,700 offices that were studied for permanent closure, and turn them into 13,000 that will go part time.

“You won’t have the same number of hours of access, you’ll still at least have a post office to be able to go to,” Rupert said.

Two of the many Idaho locations on the list are Lava Hot Springs and Arimo. Though the Postal Service restricts local employees from making official statements, some are saying they won’t know how this affects them until they get the final decisions on hours.

Ultimately, the community will be able to decide whether or not it’s worth it to keep rural post offices open. The Postal Service will be holding community meetings after Labor Day this year, and people will be able to say whether or not their post office should stay open or be consolidated.

The Postal Regulatory Committee will review this plan and make a decision on it in 90 days.

Rupert said this plan has nothing to do with the slated closure of processing plants like the one on Flandro Drive in Pocatello, but that changing the standards for delivery would save them $3 billion a year.

Click here to see a full list of rural post offices the USPS is considering closing.

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