Daily operating hours of the Dowelltown Post Office may soon be reduced in a cost saving measure by the U.S. Postal Service.
Tracy Mofield, Post Office Operations Manager for the Tennessee District, held a community meeting at the Dowelltown Post Office Tuesday to explain the changes. The proposal is to reduce the window hours from eight hours to six hours a day Monday through Friday. Saturday hours would remain the same. Similar plans have already been enacted at both the Alexandria and Liberty Post Offices.
The Postal Service recently sent out surveys to Dowelltown customers with five options from which to choose. Mofield said 86% of the respondents favored the option to realign the hours of operation.
"In Dowelltown, a total of 783 surveys were sent out and 149 of them were returned. Of those 149 surveys, 86% or 128 chose realignment of hours of the options given as their first option. Three chose the delivery option which means they (customers) could do all their business from delivery of the route by the rural carrier. No one chose the village post office option. Four said they could do their business at a nearby post office. Fourteen made no selection," said Mofield.
"These were the five options given and overwhelmingly the option chosen was the realignment of hours. Of course if there was an option in there of leaving my post office the same, that would certainly be the most overwhelming response. We realize that but we've got to do what's fiscally responsible in trying to keep the organization viable for future generations and keeping a presence in these rural communities," said Mofield.
After reviewing the surveys that were returned and taking into account Postal Service operational needs, Mofield said retail hours for the Dowelltown Post Office will likely be: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. with lunch from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Saturday hours will be from 8:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Total Saturday window service hours will not be reduced and access to delivery receptacles will not change as a result of the POST Plan realignment of weekday window service hours. Access to delivery receptacles will not be reduced from current hours.
The final decision is expected to be made no sooner than thirty days after Tuesday's meeting. A notice will then be placed in the lobby of the Dowelltown Post Office letting all the customers know the date the new hours will go into effect.
The Dowelltown Post Office serves one route and an auxiliary and is staffed by Post Master Cathy Marler and Dana Clark, Post Master Relief. Rusty Caplinger is a Rural Carrier. Liz Antoniak and Sandy Brown are Rural Carrier Associates.
(Pictured above: Tracy Mofield, Rusty Caplinger Cathy Marler, Sandy Brown, Dana Clark, and Liz Antoniak)