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Hours could be reduced at Norvelt Post Office

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Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

Offering a recommendation that presents only a small modification in existing hours of operation, Postal Service Post Office Operations Manager William Battles Jr. told a small crowd that gathered in Norvelt Friday night that the Norvelt post office hours could be reduced to six per day.

The post office would remain open on Saturdays.

Battles explained the new modified hours were an alternative to closing the smaller post offices in the area completely.

“We are giving the communities the opportunity to preserve their post offices with realigned hours,” Battles said.

Battles said with the substantial loss of revenue that the Postal Service continues to experience, moves had to be made to try to cut back on losses while retaining community post offices.

“We have done a lot in the past five years to cut back on costs,” Battles said, adding many of the cuts made already have been in personnel, maintenance and transportation.

“We need to do more,” he said.

After reviewing a survey that was sent out four weeks ago to 234 residents in Norvelt, Battles presented a realignment of hours. The office will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The window will be closed from noon to 1:30 p.m. for lunch but the lobby will remain open at that time.

Battles suggested a 24-hour lobby would be something to be considered but residents issued fears of vandalism and theft.

Resident Pat Krynicky suggested letters sent out to the residents be worded in a way that everyone could understand.

“We have a good many elderly people in our area and the way that things were explained may have gone right over their heads,” Krynicky said in reference to only 97 copies of the survey being returned. “You should make the language of the letters that go out to the people a different level of understanding.”

Battles said once the input from the meeting is reviewed residents will be informed of the final decision, which should occur in about four weeks.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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