CHASE MILLS Residents of this hamlet in the town of Louisville learned last week that their post office may be closed or forced to shorten its hours.
In a letter from Nadine Tremblay, post office review coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service, residents were asked to complete a survey that could help decide the future of their post office.
Unless the community has a strong preference (more than 60 percent) for conducting a discontinuance study for the Chase Mills Post Office and establishing an alternative service, such as rural delivery, the Postal Service intends to maintain the Chase Mills Post Office with four hours of window service each weekday, Ms. Tremblay wrote, adding that Saturday hours would remain unchanged.
If they dont get a 60 percent return on these, theyll decide without reading the survey, said Town Clerk Joanne H. Cameron, a Chase Mills resident.
The Chase Mills post office is one of a number in the region that is slated to have its hours reduced in the coming months.
At a Town Council meeting Wednesday night, Councilman Daniel OKeefe Jr., who also resides in Chase Mills, suggested relocating the post office to the municipal building. We want the post office to remain open, he said.
Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault responded, I think thats something we could look at.
But Councilman Roy A. Slim Beshaw said its not quite that simple. The only way we could get the post office is if we got a ZIP code, he said.
Ms. Cameron said the idea of Louisville having its own ZIP code is something that residents have talked about for years.
Its unfortunate that theyre talking about cutting the hours, Mr. Beshaw said. If you cut the hours, people will have to make a special trip to get their mail, and if theyre working they might not be able to get their mail at all.
Mr. Legault said the reduction is just another example of being unfairly punished for living in a rural area.
Its unfortunate that small rural communities are the ones who have to suffer when they make cuts, he said.
Chase Mills residents are not alone, said Maureen P. Marion, area manager for the Postal Service. There are 13,000 post offices across the nation that will have their hours cut.
The deadline to return surveys and/or comments is Dec. 28.
Officials from the Postal Service will be in Chase Mills at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 11 for a public meeting in the post office lobby.