The United States Postal Service (USPS) today announced the next phase of its ongoing “discontinuance feasibility study of facility operations at the Hye Post Office.” As previously reported, the USPS has targeted some 3,600 (primarily rural) post offices nationwide for closure.
In a letter to box holders, Harry Seely, Manager of Post Office Operations, writes, “The office is being studied due to declining office workload, which may indicate that maintaining this facility is not warranted.” He goes on to say, “The purpose of this study is to evaluate the facility’s operations in a continuing effort to meet customers’ retail needs, improve productivity, increase efficiency and cut costs.”
The letter states that (postal) “customer needs have changed dramatically”—including online bill paying, email, text messages and “customer demand” for online access to Postal Service products and services.” It goes on to cite delivery and service options at existing facilities in Johnson City (10 miles east) and Stonewall (5.7 miles west) both on US Hwy 290.
Additionally, box holders are told “A community meeting will be held to explain the study findings and to address community concerns... Postal representatives will be at the Garrison Brothers Distillery at 1827 Hye Albert Rd, Hye, TX 78635 on 09/08/2011 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to answer questions and provide information about our service.”
Box holders and postal service customers in the Hye community have come together over the past month to prepare a response after the news media first reported the USPS plan to conduct ”discontinuance” studies. Nearby Doss and Willow City facilities have also been targeted for closure, and representatives from both communities have organized similar response campaigns.
The Hye Preservation Society (HPS), chartered with the State of Texas as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization, is leading the campaign. The HPS has collected over 1500 signatures to date from persons interested in the continuance of the Hye Post Office. These petitions, along with a detailed response to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, will be presented to the postal representatives at the community meeting on September 8.
Dan Garrison, acting president of the HPS, agreed to host the community meeting at his business location, Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas (see www.garrisonbros.com for directions). Mr. Garrison has been in telephone contact with Mr. Seely regarding the format of the meeting and what actions will take place after it concludes. He reports, “Mr. Seely will attend and read a prepared statement reiterating the Postal Service position on discontinuance... he will explain the Postal Service’s alternative proposal, known as a Village Postal Center (VPC)... and will hand out instructions to attendees detailing how to submit their comments, both written and oral.” An open discussion will then take place, where questions, comments and suggestions will be taken from the assembly.
It is the understanding of the HPS that the community meeting is the last phase of the public hearing process. Stakeholders will have until September 19 to return the surveys, along with additonal written comments to the Hye Post Office or mailed to: District Continuance Coordinator, Rio Grande PFC, 1 Post Office Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78284-9993.
All public input will be received and compiled by Mr. Davis into a report and forwarded to Mr. Granholm in Washington. Mr. Davis estimated that 30 to 60 days will pass before the community will be informed of subsequent deliberation and/or a final determination of the fate of the Hye Post Office.
For further questions concerning the (USPS) discontinuance feasibility study, please contact Roy Davis, District Discontinuance Coordinator Contact at 210-368-1261.