While there are several other post offices within driving distance of Union, many local residents rely on the location to receive their mail and stay connected with the community within the small village along Route 125 in Wakefield. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)
Surveys will decide fate of rural NH post offices
Using a mail survey, residents in Middleton and Union can choose between changing the hours or conducting a discontinuance survey of the Union office, at 402 Main St. (Route 125).
The surveys, which were sent out June 11, must be returned by July 10 to the Union Post Office.
"I hope a lot of people fill out their surveys," Pratt said, adding she expects to see quite a few residents at the meeting about the changes later this month.
Garvin said many older residents, especially those who walk to the post office, would be hard-pressed to travel to another location, even though there are other post offices in Sanbornville and Milton, which are both about five miles away.
The Postal Service is reviewing the use of 13,000 rural post offices across the country after the public overwhelmingly was opposed to a proposal to close 3,500 locations, according to Tom Rizzo, spokesman for the Postal Service in New Hampshire and Maine.
As a result, Rizzo said officials proposed to reduce hours of certain rural locations to reflect actual usage.
"In most cases, we were able to adapt well to the wishes of the community," Rizzo said, adding while the level of interest varied across the nation, it was clear people were against closing local post offices.
Dugas said it's important for residents to respond to the survey to allow officials to determine usage. She added the Postal Service offers many services online, including the ability to ship packages and letters from home.
Dugas said the results from the survey and the information gathered during the meeting will be combined into a report. She added the information will help make decisions on a regional and national level.