CLARIFICATION: According to the United States Postal Service, a date has not yet been scheduled for implementing the new hours at the Hubbardston Post Office.
HUBBARDSTON — A reduction in post office hours may seem like a minor thing, but it’s a major blow to this small village.
Starting on Jan. 1, hours at the Hubbardston Post Office will be reduced by half.
Officer in charge Menita Merrill, who has worked at the post office for the past 10 years, will be working four hours per day instead of eight hours.
“It’s not a happy story,” she said. “It’s not just me, it’s not just here, it’s a lot of places. It’s just sad.”
The United States Postal Service has been struggling financially for some time. The agency lost $16 billion last year and is expected to lose $6 billion this year, according to the Associated Press.
Desk hours at the Hubbardston Post Office will be reduced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Desk hours will remain the same Saturday — 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Carson City Postmaster Aaron Schall, who also oversees the post offices in Crystal and Hubbardston, said the hour reduction is part of a bigger picture of overall cuts to postal services. He noted the Crystal Post Office is open six hours per day now, while the Sumner Post Office is only open two hours per day.
“It’s all set up by corporate,” he said. “They’re doing this all over the country. It’s to save money. The hours are all determined by revenue.
“The mail service won’t be affected in Hubbardston at all,” he added. “The delivery customers probably won’t even notice it.”
According to Merrill, the Hubbardston Post Office has 90 boxes and delivers mail to approximately 350 people on rural routes. She said the rural routes will be going through the Carson City Post Office when the new hour changes take affect next year.
The United States Postal Service recently arranged a new deal with Amazon to help with Sunday package delivery. Amazon is now delivering packages on Sundays to customers in New York and Los Angeles, but the service is expected to extendn to a large portion of the U.S. population next year, according to the Associated Press.