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Geronimo Post Office Cutting Services

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GERONIMO, Okla_ Residents in Geronimo found out Tuesday the post office's hours of operation are going to be cut.

Acting Post Office Manager Tamara Houk broke the news to residents at a meeting Tuesday. She told them the facility's hours would be cut in half. Starting July 27th, the office will be open Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and Saturday 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM.

It's mainly due to lack of volume, or the amount of mail coming in. It's not necessarily people coming into the facility. However, customer visits and revenue do play a part.

The cut is part of the US Postal Service's "Post Plan", which is an effort to keep rural facilities open. They sent out a survey to about 800 residents, giving them several options to keep the place open.

The USPS gave the Geronimo residents several choices about how to deal with the facility's dwindling business. They could choose shorter hours, placing the office inside a local store or shut the facility down altogether, forcing residents to drive into Lawton to visit the post office there.

"The majority of the surveys show customers selecting realignment of hours," Houk said. "182 surveys were actually returned. 164 did request realignment of hours and the majority was A.M. hours. So, that's what we went with, the customer request."

Houk said the Geronimo facility is considered a rural post office with average volume, but today's technology has had a direct impact on diminishing those numbers

"As we advance, customers have different options where everybody used to mail a letter," Houk said. "That's the way they paid their bills, the way they communicated with their family members and things like that. Now, we've got fax machines, emails and cell phones."

The crowd of concerned citizens, although sparse, is relieved to still have the post office in their town. They say they were scared it was going to be shut down.

"I am saying that if anything leaves the town, that it could be a ghost town," Geronimo Resident Joyce Vincent said. "It's so inconvenient to drive into Lawton to get your mail when you're paying bills, and they're coming every week."

"Well, for the longest time, we didn't have one," Geronimo Resident Ray Wingfield said. "This nice building is about to go to waste and for convenience, too."

Residents said although they feel relief now, they're still worried about any additional changes in the future. Houk said that the US Postal Service would only make the decision to shut down as a last resort.

Geronimo's facility is one of hundreds across the nation whose hours are being cut. According the USPS's website, the agency reported a net loss of $1.9B in the second quarter of it's 2013 fiscal year. They say in order for the postal service to survive, they need to save $20B per year by 2016.  



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