The Sipesville post office will be reducing its hours from 8 a.m. to noon starting in January. A meeting was held at the Sipesville fire hall Thursday to discuss the upcoming changes.
Wendy Hudak, western Pennsylvania post office operations manager, presented the results of a community survey. The survey was used to determine what consolidation option would work best for Sipesville. The options included a reduction in hours, closing the post office or having the mail delivered directly.
"The results of the survey showed that 90 percent voted to keep the office open and change the hours from eight hours a day to four hours," Hudak said.
The Sipesville office is one of 44 post offices in the western Pennsylvania region that is going through this process.
Despite survey results, some residents are unhappy with the plan. About 30 people attended the meeting.
Local business owner Mark Matthews said the time change at the post office will hurt his business. He said he ships items from the post office throughout the day. Matthews said this would lead to fewer people using the post office.
"This change is going backward instead of forward," Matthews said.
Sipesville resident Mike Saylor said workers would have trouble with these hours.
"If a person works 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., they won't be able to contribute to the post office. It would close in a year," Saylor said.
Hudak pointed out several ways the community can obtain postal services without going to the office.
She said that there are websites that allow users to buy and print postage stamps. The revenue from these stamps will still go to the local post office. The sites include Stamps.com and Click-N-Ship. The latter is provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
Hudak said the nationwide post office structure measure originally planned to shut down various rural post offices in an effort to save money. The new plan, POStPlan, is intended to reduce costs by cutting back on hours.
When the POStPlan is implemented at the end of 2014, it is estimated to save half a billion dollars across the nation.