TABERNASH - The Tabernash Post Office will become one of about 13,000 post offices in the nation cutting back hours of operation as part of an overall cost-saving measure to return the U.S. Postal Service to financial stability.
This new strategy, originally announced in May, is an effort to keep existing post offices in place but with modified retail window hours.
The Tabernash Post Office will see reduced hours from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, with a half-hour lunchtime closure starting at 10:30 a.m.
Saturday service will be reduced by one-half hour, with opening starting at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m., and will continue with its regular closure at 10 a.m.
The U.S. Postal Service has not announced when the new hours will officially start, but may be implemented as early as this or next month.
Also on the preliminary list of offices considered for modified hours are the Hot Sulphur Springs and Parshall post offices. According to David Rupert, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in the mountain region, Tabernash was the first postal office to undergo changes in Grand County, and "Parshall and Hot Sulphur Springs will be considered for adjustment sometime within the next two years."
Keeping the nation's smallest post offices open for business is a shift in strategy of the U.S. Postal Service, which has proposed closures of rural post offices. In Grand County, Parshall was one post office threatened for closure.
"We've listened to our customers in rural America and we've heard them loud and clear - they want to keep their post office open," said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe, in statements released in May. "We believe (reducing hours) will serve our customers' needs and allow us to achieve real savings." The Postal Service estimates saving a half-billion dollars annually with this strategy.
Access to P.O. boxes at Tabernash will remain unchanged, and the town's zip code and community identity will be retained.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.