SHEFFIELD - Representatives from the United States Postal Service held a public meeting on the fate of the Post Office on Main Street a few weeks ago and since then, residents have not received any answers on why they're cutting the hours.
USPS is expected to run out of operating cash in October of this year, which forced the company last May to announce cuts within the company including closing and reducing the hours of numerous branches in the U.S.
According to usnews.com, the company lost 5.1 billion dollars in 2011 and is expected to lose 14.1 billion in 2012. USPS adds customer visits have dropped 27 percent since 2006.
"They have not told us what this facility is actually doing in terms of numbers," says Sheffield resident George Hajduczek, adding, "we asked them and they told us they can't release any more information."
Hajduczek isn't the only resident complaining about the lack of information from USPS. "This is a small office in town that means a lot to this community, we want to know" says Bob Snedeker who's a regular of the office every day. He adds the hours just won't work for him "my doctor's appointments are down in Hanover so I leave here at 8 in the morning and sometimes I won't get back till 4 or 5 at night."
The proposed cuts would keep the office open Monday through Friday 8am to 10am and 2:45pm to 4:45pm. The office is usually open 8am to 12 and 1 to 5pm. As of right now Saturday hours will not change, but for one of the two employees at the office, his hours will be cut in half from 40 to 20 hours a week. Residents hope postmaster David Burke who could not comment due to company restrictions, who has been a part-time employee for 7 and half years, will not leave.
"People come and go, and David spots them and he's got their mail ready for them," says another post office regular Harman Clark. "He is the best post person we've had in this town for many many years" added Snedeker. Burke earns no benefits and no vacation time and was unable to talk due to company restrictions.
Tom Rizzo, the head of corporate communications for USPS in New England, says this is the effect of American's using other ways to communicate. "Americans mailing habits have changed radically over the past 10 or 12 years with a shift from first class mail, to internet alternatives like email and internet bill paying."
The company has not told Burke or residents of Sheffield when these new hours will go into effect, and Hajduczek hopes they will change their mind. "Other than town hall, this is the only public building in the town and everyone comes to talk and meet people. This is the hub of the community."