LOCKHART — Residents of the Town of Lockhart will receive a briefing on the future of their post office Friday afternoon.
Town and postal officials announced Wednesday that a community meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Lockhart Town Hall. The meeting will feature a presentation by Bryan L. Cramer, Customer Service Analyst and Growth Management Coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service, on the future of the town’s post office.
The presentation will include the results of a survey of Lockhart residents on possible options for mail service in their community. The options include:
• Realignment of hours
• Delivery Option
• Village Post Office Option
• Nearby Post Office Option
Cramer made a similar presentation in November in Carlisle, informing residents that of the 624 customer surveys mailed out, 166 were returned. Of those, 136 or 82 percent opted for realignment of hours at their post office.
He said that after reviewing the responses to the survey and the operational needs of the postal service in the Carlisle area, the postal service had determined that the retail hours at the Carlisle Post Office would be noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Currently, the post office is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday. The new hours will take effect sometime after mid-February.
The surveys of the Carlisle and Lockhart communities were part of the Postal Plan Program initiated by the post office to realign retail hours — the hours the window at the post office is open — at 13,000 post offices nationwide to prevent the closing of 3,700 post offices across the country.
In his briefing to the residents of Carlisle, Cramer said the postal service considered closing 27 post offices in South Carolina, but by realigning the retail hours at 106 across the state, all but one of them would remain open. That one will be closed because of security issues.
Cramer told Carlisle residents that the goal of the realignment of hours is to get more people into and doing business at their post office. This will not only help keep small post offices like Carlisle’s open, but possibly increase the number of hours their post office is open if there is sufficient traffic.
Mayor Ailene Ashe urged the people of Lockhart to attend Friday’s meeting.
“I encourage the people to come,” Ashe said. “Please, please come, this is very important to the future of our community.”
Ashe said the post office import to the community which in recent years has experience the loss of its main employer, Lockhart Mill.
“We have lost so much in Lockhart, but we still have our post office,” Ashe said. “We just can’t keep losing things, especially our post office.”
Ashe said she and town clerk Brenda Jenkins will be making phone calls Friday morning reminding people of the meeting and urging them to attend. She also asked the public to call friends, family members and neighbors and remind them of the meeting.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.