The United States Postal Service — which derives all of its revenue from the sale of its products and services — has lost $26 billion over the last three years.
In an effort to stop the bleeding, it has consolidated 141 mail processing facilities nationwide over the last two years, saving nearly $900 million and laying off no employees in the process.
Now, consolidating Long Island’s smallest post office — in South Jamesport — by January of next year is part of a plan to save more dollars.
At a meeting Wednesday at the Jamesport Meeting House, USPS representatives told a crowd of about two dozen residents that a reduction in man-hours at the office would be likely, based on the results of a survey sent out last month.
Annette D’Amato, operations manager with the USPS, told the crowd that hours at the office could actually be expanded from Monday to Saturday — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. was floated — but the number of hours someone would be behind the counter would be cut, as one of the two positions would be relocated to another office.
Changes are expected to take effect Oct. 1.
Ms. D’Amato said that from 2011 through 2013, revenues at the Second Street office fell by 14 percent, a large part of the reason for the change.
Residents in attendance were not happy to hear that no detailed numbers justifying the cuts were available. “Headquarters” has them, Ms. D’Amato said.
However, USPS officials in attendance said at the end of the meeting that they didn’t bring numbers because when hours were cut back last year at New Suffolk, nobody had asked. Hours in New Suffolk were cut last November, though they were restored later after revenue rose, Ms. D’Amato said.
Numbers on the finances of the South Jamesport branch will be provided to its postmaster, Kevin Ford, she said.
The postmaster’s future was also of concern to residents. Mr. Ford will likely have to either to transfer to another location or stay in South Jamesport in a position with a lower salary. At the moment, he said he’s unsure what he’s going to do.
“If Kevin doesn’t stay, the new postmaster won’t know that Karen Keller is different than Georgette Keller like Kevin does,” said Georgette Keller, former president and current executive board member of the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association. “He’s a part of our community.”