May 10, 2012 at 7:58 am
WASHINGTON (KNSI) - The struggling U.S. Postal Service is trying to stamp down concern over its wide-scale cuts, saying it will seek to keep hundreds of rural post offices open with shorter hours.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said this morning that the new plan will save the mail agency half a billion dollars each year while addressing concerns of rural residents most opposed to post office closings. Previously, up to 3,700 low-revenue post offices were slated for closure or consolidation beginning sometime after May 15.
Senator Al Franken said he's happy to hear of the decision.
"I've been fighting to save Minnesota's rural post offices since I heard they were on the chopping block last winter, that's when I went to talk to the Postmaster General," Franken said. "Now I'm just pleased to hear that he's decided to listen to the concerns of folks from across Minnesota and keep these rural post offices open."
Eighty-eight Minnesota post offices will be evaluated for possible shortened hours, none in the immediate St. Cloud area.
The Postal Service now plans to seek regulatory approval for the new plan and get community input a process that could take several months.