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Molena Post Office hours could be cut

United States Postal Service employees met with around 30 Molena residents to discuss potential changes at the 30258 Post Office. According to Leta George, a USPS representative for all zip codes that being with 302 in Georgia, the Molena P.O. will likely have a reduction in hours. ’The POST plan is recommending decreasing the Molena Post Office hours by two hours a week,’ she said. ‘The Post Office realizes we can’t continue to do business the same way we’ve been doing it. We’re going to have to make some changes.’ Instead of being open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. with a lunch break from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., the Molena branch may be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a 12 to 1 p.m. lunch. The office would go from being open 6.75 hours a day to six hours a day. Residents raised concerns about the change. Some noted the Molena Post Office serves a larger number of residents than the Concord Post Office and the carriers cover more area than any other post office in Pike County. ’The Post Office is the only service that serves everybody in the community and I’d really hate to see it removed,’ said Billy Lawrence. ‘There are people in excess of 180 miles covered in the mail routes this Post Office serves. Many are elderly and don’t have access to technology like email. It’s frightening to me that services would be cut to people who live in Molena. This little Post Office serves a large area. It has one of the largest mail routes in the county. There are a lot of people who depend on this Post Office.’ A survey was mailed to all Molena residents in late May asking residents to select one of four options, to keep the office open but change hours from 6.75 hours each weekday to six hours each weekday, conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide roadside mailbox delivery, conduct the study and find a suitable alternative location or conduct the study and relocate P.O. box service to a nearby Post office. Of 1,120 surveyed 228 replied, with 186 or 82% recommending a realignment of hours, 24 or 11% recommending roadside mailbox delivery, 1% recommending the village Post Office option, 1% recommending the nearby Post Office option and 13 or 6% making no selection. Residents asked if the change in hours means the office will eventually be closed. George assured them that was not the case, noting each post office in Georgia is under review every 12 months and the hour reduction could be reversed if the need arises. George said the location of the Molena Post Office means it will probably not be closed. ’Based on the geographical location of this post office I don’t see us closing the Molena branch,’ she said. Residents noted the hours make it difficult for people who work to get to the Post Office during regular business hours since no Saturday hours are offered. George said she would take that request back to the board that will review all the surveys and notes from the local meeting before making any final decisions.

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