The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the new strategy Wednesday, saying it wants to preserve rural post offices while still cutting costs. It also released a list of thousands of locations nationwide whose hours could be cut as part of the new tact.
This decision does not affect Tupelo post office's consolidation with Memphis.
Among them are more than 200 rural offices in Mississippi, including nearly two dozen in the northeast region - some of which were eyed for permanent closure just one year ago this month.
"Oh, that's wonderful," said Jerry Henson, the former mayor of Dumas, whose sole post office was among those slated for closure. '
"We had a meeting a couple months ago with them (USPS), and they had said it was probably just a matter of time."
Also relieved was Linda Jordan, town clerk for Gattman, who had been concerned about the loss of that community's sole post office, which houses the town's PO box.
"That'd mean we've have to go all the way into Amory every day," she said. "It would be about 20 miles, one way."
Concerns like those had poured in from across the country and prompted the USPS to change its course, said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe in a press release.
"We've listened to our customers in rural America and we've heard them loud and clear - they want to keep their post office open," he said. "We believe today's announcement will serve our customers' needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability."
As part of the plan, rural post offices would see hours shrunk to as little as two per day. The plan won't happen immediately, though, said USPS spokeswoman Enola Rice.
It will be phased in during the course of the next two years, although some offices could see the change as quickly as Labor Day.
NEARLY TWO DOZEN Northeast Mississippi post offices could see reduced hours as part of a plan to save the U.S. Postal Service money. Below is a list of post offices currently on the list. The list includes the zip code, city, current hours and proposed hours.
38820 ALGOMA – Current: 6 Proposed: 2
38825 BECKER – Current: 8 Proposed: 4
38828 BLUE SPRINGS – Current: 8 Proposed: 6
38833 BURNSVILLE – Current: 8 Proposed: 6
38838 DENNIS – Current: 6 Proposed: 2
38839 DERMA P – Current: 8 Proposed: 2
38841 ECRU – Current: 8 current Proposed: 6
38844 GATTMAN – 2 current
38846 GLEN – Current: 8 Proposed: 4
38847 GOLDEN – Current: 8 Proposed: 4
38848 GREENWOOD SPGS – Current: 4 Proposed: 2
38849 GUNTOWN – Current 8 current Proposed: 6
38850 HOULKA – 8 current 6 proposed
38856 MARIETTA – Current: 8 Proposed: 6
38862 PLANTERSVILLE – Current: 8 Proposed: 6
38864 RANDOLPH – Current: 4 Proposed: 2
38869 SHERMAN – Current: 8 Proposed: 4
38871 THAXTON – Current: 6 Proposed: 4
38874 TOCCOPOLA – Current: 6 Proposed: 2
38876 TREMONT – Current: 8 Proposed: 4
38877 VAN VLEET – Current: 8 Proposed: 2
38878 VARDAMAN – Current: 8 Proposed: 6
38880 WHEELER – Current: 8 Proposed: 6