Hobson Post Office hours have been and are currently Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Beginning on Nov. 17, Hobson Post Office hours will then be from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and will be open between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Customers who have post office boxes/mail receptacles at the post office will still have access to them 24-hours a day.
“It has been determined that effective Nov. 17, the Hobson Post Office will provide two hours of window service each weekday,” said USPS Public Information Officer Robert Bolen. “Current Saturday window service hours will not be reduced and access to delivery receptacles will not change as a result of the Post Plan realignment of weekday window service hours.”
The Post Plan is a process being implemented by the USPS as a plan to keep post offices across the country - especially in rural areas - open by realigning retail window hours based on customer use. The Post Plan is being conducted in a multi-phased approach over two years, to be completed nationwide by September of 2014.
Bolen states that in early September of this year, each of the Postal Service’s 67 districts began the two-year nationwide process of notifying affected communities of the changed hours of operations of local post offices and the other options available to them.
310 customer surveys were mailed out to Hobson residents requesting a preference for one of four options available in regards to the future status of the Hobson Post Office. The Post Plan options the USPS is considering are as follows:
1. Realignment of Hours- Keep the office open, based on actual office workload. Depending on the office workload, hours would be reduced from 8 hours (or in some cases 6 hours) each weekday to 6, 4 or 2 hours per weekday. Current Saturday hours will not change as a result of Post Plan and access to delivery receptacles (P.O. Boxes) will not be impacted by Post Plan.
2. Delivery Option- Conduct a discontinuance study for the Hobson office and offer roadside mailbox delivery. Retail and delivery service would be provided through a rural carrier. Mail delivery points will be established and customers can purchase most postal services through the carrier or other alternate access points.
3. Village Post Office Option- Conduct a discontinuance study for the Hobson office and find a suitable alternative location operated by a contractor, usually at a local business. When businesses are found that meet the criteria, these establishments are contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and offer stamps and flat rate products with service hours generally more expansive than what the local Post Office will be able to offer.
4. Nearby Post Office Option- Conduct a discontinuance study for the Hobson office and provide P.O. Box service via another nearby Post Office (i.e. Falls City, Karnes City, Panna Maria) and relocate P.O. Box delivery to that Post Office.
Of the 310 surveys sent out to the Hobson community, 92 responses were mailed back. Of the 92 responses, a large majority of 85 of the responses were in favor of keeping the post office with the reduced realignment of hours.
“The Postal Service is committed to implementing this new plan in a responsible and fair manner,” Bolen explained. “And we believe the proposals will ensure the preservation of Postal Service facilities and services in rural communities.”
USPS officials say that the USPS is having to make changes in the face of financial difficulties and challenges it is facing in a world relying more on internet/computer technology for things like commerce and communication.
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, according to Bolen.