USPS reverses course

The Douglas Post Office. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

Hours may change, but the Douglas Post Office is likely to stay open, thanks to a new plan announced Wednesday by the U.S. Postal Service.

Douglas is one of five small Alaska postal stations among 3,700 nationwide originally slated to close.

Now Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says customers have convinced officials to consider other options.

Donahoe says the USPS proposes different levels of service at 13,000 post offices nationwide.

“What we’re going to be proposing is in those 13,000 that we have window hours of 6 hours a day, 4 hours a day, or 2 hours a day, based on customer traffic — how many times a day people come in to buy stamps or mail a package,” Donahoe told Marketplace Morning Report. “We’ll also be retaining access to their post office box at the same or better levels.”

Donahoe estimates the plan would save about half-a-billion dollars.

No details yet on what new the hours might be for the Douglas Post Office.

He says no changes would be made until after Labor Day, and at that point the agency would conduct community meetings and surveys at each post office on the list.

“We would then spend times with the communities, all 13,000, with a visit, and we would propose the hours that we would be open, listen to any suggestions they had on what times that should be,” he says, “and then we would go ahead and make the changes over the course of the next two years.”