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A crowd of about 75 people attended the town hall meeting at the Squires Community Building at noon last Friday to support their post office. Most of them went away discouraged, however, with the feeling that the meeting was only a formality and had no real purpose.
Rick Belcher, manager of Postal Operations, from Springfield, conducted the meeting. His message to the post office patrons was that post office hours will be reduced to four hours per day – period.
He said this was an alternative to closing the Squires Post Office altogether.
“I understand it’s going to bring inconvenience,” Belcher said, adding that the reduction of hours is a “balancing act.”
Several who spoke during the meeting indicated the Squires Post Office is making money while other small, nearby offices are not.
While it is almost certain that the POST Plan will be implemented, it is possible the people might be able to convince the U.S. Postal Service to reconsider the hours the office will be open.
The current plan calls for the office to be open 8 a.m. to 12 noon Monday through Friday, and 7 to 9 a.m. on Saturday. It seemed to be the consensus of the people who voiced opinions that if the office is only open four hours a day, they would prefer it be open later in the day.
Belcher gave an indication that the hours of operation might be optional.
Rural mail delivery out of the Squires Post Office will continue, although one patron said he would like to see more post office boxes available.
“I wanted to get a post office box and had to wait for someone to die,” he said.
A handout presented to folks as they arrived for the meeting states: “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. We will take into account all information received at this meeting before making a final decision. Access to delivery receptacles will not be reduced from current hours.”