JENKINSVILLE — The results are in and the survey says that Jenkinsville can keep its post office for the foreseeable future.
Surveys came back with 98 of a potential 401 people responding. Eighty nine percent of respondents chose to realign post office hours. For the average customer at the Jenkinsville Post Office, though, there will be little noticeable change in service.
The primary changes deal with the staff and workers there. Their work day will change from eight hours per day to six hours and 15 minute work days. Acting Postmaster Margie Seabrook has been promoted and will be leaving for Sullivan’s Island.
P.O. Box, Saturday mail delivery and window service will not change.
The Postal Plan Program was initiated by the post office to realign retail hours at 13,000 post offices nationwide to prevent the closing of 3,700 of them. This included 27 in South Carolina which the post office considered closing. The realignment of 106 post offices across the state will keep all but one open. The other will be closed because of security issues. In nearby Blair, the hours were realigned to a two year window for service.
“The post office is in a dire financial situation, so we have to make adjustments,” said Bryan Cramer, post office review coordinator. “We try to be as transparent as possible.”
He said the post office receives no tax money or government subsidies, but it takes in money from certified mail and stamp sales.
Cramer said the goal is to keep the mail flowing nationwide and worldwide and that the national postmaster general was told to do whatever it takes to keep the business afloat.
“The postal service is a community service. We depend on our valued customers to produce our revenue,” Cramer said.
By Sept. 30, 2014, all post offices will be reevaluated but most of the evaluations that remain from now until then deal with higher level offices.
The Post plan process will save the post office about a half million dollars, according to Cramer.
The new Jenkinsville postmaster will be a part-time hire. Cramer said there might be some temporary workers to fill in until the permanent hire is made. That postmaster will be under the supervision of the full-time postmaster at the Chapin Post Office.
As of now, the carriers will not move. Cramer said the post office can reduce transportation expenses but keep the same amount of mail flow by changing the order and time of the routes. Other moves to consolidate operations include the closing of the Florence Plant operations and moving the mail sorting and distribution into the Columbia area. That keeps with a nationwide trend of consolidating distribution and sorting areas.
“We are asking customers to change with us. That enables us to stay afloat and for you to maintain your ZIP Code and identity within your community,” Cramer said.
Employee hours will be from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. during week days. Post office box availability does not change, and there will be a person available for customers to receive certified mail or to hand out parcels.
Cramer said extra survey results will be available at the Jenkinsville post office for people unable to attend Wednesday night’s meeting.
Lifelong Jenkinsville resident Bessie Gregg was happy about the decision. “I use the post office often and I depend on it 100 percent,” Gregg said.
Emma Pye, another lifelong Jenkinsville resident, said that “the process worked well. This is what we were hoping for.” Pye has worked at the Jenkinsville Post Office delivering mail for the past nine years.
Brenda Sutcliffe, Pelion Postmaster and post office review coordinator assistant, also was there to help Cramer in his public relations efforts. Around 30 people attended the meeting despite the threat of potentially severe weather that caused many of the ball games and evening activities around Winnsboro to be cancelled.