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U.S. Postal Service Reducing Retail Service Hours in Rural Community Post Offices

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BUCKHANNON -

Residents in rural communities in Upshur County may face a problem when it comes to doing business with the United States Postal Service.

Residents have given their feedback to the postal service, but they feel the decision has already been made.

Lorentz is one of many small communities in Upshur County that relies on its post office. Now this post office and several other locations are facing a reduction in hours, and residents are concerned.

"There's a lot of folks in this area that depend on this facility, a lot of them are older folks, and they're on limited income and things of that nature, and as small as this is, it's quite busy," said Clarence Wilson, Lorentz resident.

A community meeting between the postal service and residents in Lorentz was held Tuesday. The postal service will reduce the retail service hours from its current four hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday to only two hours, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday's schedule remains unchanged, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No changes will be made to post office boxes in the facility.

"Why go to such a small window when you were doing four hours anyway? You're going to lose 50 percent of your selling of stamps and your business," Wilson said. "You tell people to go here, go there, and if they're not open, go yonder. At $3.70 cents a gallon, you can't ask people to go all over the county just to get mail, and their postal business being taking care of."

Post offices in communities like Tallmansville, French Creek and Adrian currently operate eight hours, but are being told to reduce hours to four hours. Residents feel that's not convenient.

"I'm a retired coal miner, but I still work part time and I said to get here, and to get this stuff done is not even real to do in a two hour window, when four hours is not all that long," Wilson said.

Residents will be given 30 days' notice to let them know of the changes when they are finalized.

A community meeting will held on Thursday for residents in Farmington and Idamay of Marion County to discuss the same situation. It will be held at 4:45 p.m. at the Ray Kelley Athletic Field Community Building.