SUGAR HILL — Residents going to the post office were met with a rude shock over the weekend.
“Effective Saturday, May 26, 2012 the Rural Carrier will service this facility from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. each day,” a notice posted on the door read. “Customers will be able to purchase Stamps only. No other retail services will be provided.”
Brenda Aldrich of the Harman's Cheese & Country Store said the post office was not on any of the United State Postal Service's closure lists. Harman's leases the building to the post office. The facility has postal boxes for residents and businesses.
“It's a very vital part of our town,” Lissa Boissonneault, town clerk, said Tuesday. She called the manner in which the announcement was made “horrendous.”
The window hours had been 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Residents will still be able to get to their postal boxes, Aldrich said.
“We open the building in the morning and close it in the evening so that people can get their mail from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., even when there's no window service,” Aldrich said.
Though Sugar Hill has its own zip code, the post office in the community of over 500 year-round residents doesn't have its own staff. It is manned by a rural carrier from the Lisbon Post Office.
Ron Spalding, Lisbon postmaster, said he received an email to post with the notice attached late Friday afternoon. “I was not a part of the discussion,” he said.
“I appreciate it and I'm glad they're active,” he said of those who have expressed their displeasure at the reduction in service, adding that the Sugar Hill patrons are good customers. “We provided them with good service. I'd like to see it continue.”
He noted there was no hearing on the reduction of hours and services.
“Sugar Hill is not a post office but classified as a NPU- NonPersonnel Unit where a rural carrier stops by on his/her route, services boxes and quickly provides money orders or stamps,” responded Denise Varano, a Northeast Area spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.