BRINKHAVEN — A community meeting is being planned sometime in the near future to discuss the status of the Brinkhaven Post Office. Substantial losses in revenue and decreased visits by residents to local post offices are reasons the U.S. Postal Service is citing for having to change their strategy to have them return to financial stability and hopefully save local post offices.
The Brinkhaven office was among 10,000 nationally and 90 across Ohio placed on a watch list in 2011 determined to be underutilized and producing less than $27,500 in revenue. A public meeting took place in October informing residents of the U.S. Postal Service’s plans to make changes to services and possibly close some of these locations. Rockbridge Postmaster Christy Giardino explained at the meeting that a decision had not been made to close the post office, and options were being explored to make local service more profitable.
After meetings in numerous communities to discuss the Postal Service’s options and to hear feedback from local residents, the USPS has developed a two-year strategy to allow them to cut operating costs while still keeping post offices open. Four paths outlined to preserve access to postal services are:
•To maintain the post offices with reduced retail window service hours.
•Provide delivery service using either rural carriers or highway contract routes.
•Engage a local establishment within the community to establish a Village Post Office.
•Merge with nearby post offices and provide service from that location.
Studies show that since 2005, USPS customer retail visits have dropped 27 percent, as many as 70,000 postal providers (Walmart, Staples, etc.) are offering alternate access and that as many as 57 percent of USPS customers are using online services at USPS.com.
David Van Allen, USPS corporate communications officer in Cleveland, told the News that strategies are being implemented based on USPS studies of “low revenue” offices and feedback from the community meetings. Initial plans are for many of the post offices, including Brinkhaven, to observe reduced hours of window service. Customers would still have access to the lobby and their P.O. boxes.
A public meeting will be scheduled in Brinkhaven to address the USPS plans in more detail. Local residents will be informed of this meeting through the U.S. mail.