Mayor, residents P.O.’d about changes

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Will W-town post office close or merge with Dry Ridge?

By Bryan Marshall

The Williamstown Post Office soon will undergo changes that city officials and some residents aren’t happy about.

Questions concerning the merger of services of the Williamstown office with the Dry Ridge Post Office have been circulating as the Postal Service looks to close 3,700 facilities and consolidate operations to save money.

Chu Falling Star, district manager of Cincinnati District of the U.S. Postal Service, sent Mayor Rick Skinner a letter on July 26 notifying him of the changes.

Within the next two months, the city and rural carriers working at the Williamstown Post Office will begin working out of the Dry Ridge Post Office.

A new $1 million Dry Ridge Post Office, located at 80 South Main St., opened for business April 28.

The 4,800 square-foot facility is on 1.4 acres of land at the corner of Brentwood Drive and U.S. 25.

“This change will be transparent to our customers and will in no way impact delivery or retail service,” the letter stated. “Occasionally, we interchange staff, equipment and other resources in order to improve efficiencies, reduce operating costs and make better use of our resources.”

The U.S. Postal Service will continue to provide customers at the Williamstown and Dry Ridge post offices with retail, P.O. Box and mail acceptance services, according to the letter.

Hours at the Williamstown Post Office, however, could change.

“Although most customers will receive their mail at approximately the same time each day, some customers’ mail may be delivered earlier in the day and others could receive mail slightly later,” the letter stated.

The Williamstown City Council held a meeting July 25 to discuss the issue with the community and adopt a resolution stating the city’s support for the post office to remain open with its same services.

The council passed out sample letters concerned citizens could send to the post master general and Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Geoff Davis.

“To get people’s attention, we need to know that our representatives are speaking against this not just that they heard us,” council member Charles Ed Wilson said at the meeting.

The changes are a cost-cutting measure for the Postal Service, which ended its third quarter of fiscal year (April 1-June 30) with a net loss of $3.1 billion.

Even with significant cost reductions and revenue growth initiatives, the Postal Service reported that current financial projections indicate they will have a cash shortfall and will have reached its statutory borrowing limit by the end of the fiscal year.

Absent substantial legislative change, the Postal Service will be forced to default on payments to the federal government.

Skinner said he is afraid that any changes in services at the Williamstown Post Office could lead to its eventual closure.

Attempts to set up a community forum with Postal Service officials and Rep Geoff Davis’ office have been unsuccessful so far.

“The city still has the position that we don’t want any lessening of services at all from Williamstown,” Skinner said. “We still want our carriers working out of Williamstown. Our biggest argument right now is that we are the county seat. It’s where people come to do business. It should remain open.”