Residents express views of post office's future
by Shane Dunaway
ALPINE —A representative from the U.S. Postal Service held a meeting at the Alpine Café to discuss future changes regarding the unincorporated community’s post office.

Willie Trawick, manager of post office operations for the Alabama District, briefed residents in attendance on results from a survey sent to postal customers Feb. 26.

The surveys, distributed as part of the USPS’s Post Plan, gave residents a choice on alternative measures to ensure their postal needs are met while adapting the post office network to reflect current use of their services.

Residents responding chose from the following four options:

• Keep the office open, but with realigned weekday window service hours, based on actual office workload.

• Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide roadside mailbox delivery.

• Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business.

• Conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide P.O. Box service via another nearby post office and relocate P.O. Box delivery to that post office.

Of the 1,840 customer surveys mailed, residents returned 338 surveys, or 18 percent.

“We’ve reviewed the surveys that were returned to us and based off the initial results, we anticipate retail hours for the Alpine post office will change to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch from noon to 1 p.m.,” Trawick said. “The office will remain open on Saturdays from 8-10 a.m.”

Trawick said the review of the surveys would continue and an official ruling would be posted at the Alpine post office next week.

Despite the lack of participation by Alpine residents, those who returned the surveys made their preferences known. Roughly 84 percent of residents preferred the realignment of hours option.

Residents posed questions after the briefing, primarily concerned over whether rural routes would continue to receive deliveries.

“Our area is very rural,” said Tandy Glaze, an Alpine resident. “The Alpine Post Office services an area from Sycamore all the way toward the dam and from Highway 21 toward Tallasahatchee.”

Trawick assured postal customer all rural routes will continue to receive deliveries.

“Maybe I’m an old fogey, but we have no computer and have no intention of buying a computer,” Glaze said. “The post office is our outlet to pay our bills, communicate with others and receive my medication.”

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© 2013