Post offices in Rollingstone and Minnesota City were visited last Thursday by representatives from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to help explain the upcoming reductions to open office hours.
The tentative plan for Rollingstone is to hold open hours from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, while Minnesota City agreed upon open hours from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday hours for both Post Offices would remain the same; 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. for Rollingstone and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for Minnesota City.
At each public forum, Rollingstone and Minnesota City residents were allowed to ask questions and address their concerns regarding the reduced hours. Many of those who spoke at the forums said that they understood why USPS was reducing hours, but were concerned for the job security of their city’s Postmaster as well as the historic and traditional implications. “I understand the economic realities of maintenance of staff, building and other operational contingencies,” read Minnesota City resident Genevieve O’Grady from a prepared statement. “I want to speak to the human value of maintaining the Post Office now and in the future as it relates to personal and community identity.”
Unfortunately for residents, the decision had already been made to reduce the hours, said Paul Knoll, manager of Post Offices operations for the Winona area. The visits were more of a way to explain the plan and decide on open office hours. Knoll told residents that the reduction of hours is part of a nationwide plan to save the USPS money. He also assured residents that the reductions to hours does not mean the Post Office is going away, nor does it mean that the position of Postmaster is being entirely eliminated. “It will be a part-time Postmaster position,” he said, adding that the job will still include regular benefits.
The changes are part of the Post Plan, an initiative announced in May of 2012 as a way to keep smaller Post offices Open by realigning retail hours based on customer surveys.