NEWBORN -- Hours at the post offices in Newborn and Mansfield will be reduced effective Jan. 12.
New weekday hours at Mansfield will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, closed for lunch from 1 to 2 p.m.; and from 8:30a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturdays.
The Newborn Post Office will now be open 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.
Saturday hours are unchanged and P.O. box mail will be available for pickup at both locations after 11 a.m.
Full-time employees at the office may also have their hours reduced, if they stay at that office, Miles said. However, they also have the option of transferring to another office to maintain their full-time status.
According to an informational flyer supplied by the Postal Service, 1,227 customer surveys were mailed out and 320 returned by Newborn customers, with 86 percent of customers saying they would prefer a realignment of hours versus closing the post office, using village post offices in town or having mail delivery service by either rural carrier or highway contract route.
Mansfield and Newborn are two of the more than 250 post offices in rural Georgia proposed to have hours reduced. The Postal Service announced in May the new strategy to keep the nation's smallest post offices open when public outcry followed the announcement that nearly 3,700 offices would be studied for possible closure.
"Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and always will be, a top priority," said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe at that time. "With that said, 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."
The new strategy will be implemented over two years. Once implementation is complete in September 2014, the U.S. Postal Service anticipates a savings of $500 million per year.
According to the Postal Service, revenue and visits to post offices are decreasing, with a 27 percent drop, or 350 million fewer visits, since 2005. Eighty-eight percent of rural post offices are losing money.