Postal officials reveal that service hours also will be cut at Vanleer Post Office no later than Jan. 9

Postal officials discussing pending changes at the Charlotte Post Office last week revealed that the hours of operation also will be reduced at the Vanleer Post Office by January. Tracy Mofield, post office operations manager for Middle Tennessee, said the retail window at the Vanleer facility will be cut to six hours a weekday by Jan. 9 or sooner if the current postmaster leaves or retires. The U.S. Postal Service’s POST Plan is reviewing postal facilities across the country in an effort to reduce the service’s multi-billion dollar annual losses. Mofield said the changes being made to more than 13,000 post offices are projected to save $500 million. The postal service has already reduced window service hours at the Slayden Post Office to two hours a weekday and the Cumberland Furnace Post Office to six hours a day. The service announced this week that the Charlotte Post Office will be reduced to six hours a day. Even though Vanleer Mayor Larry Robertson and other local officials have repeatedly said they have not been informed of any changes being considered for the Vanleer Post Office, Mofield said at Thursday’s meeting about Charlotte that Vanleer is going to be cut in response to a question about other facilities’ hours. “Vanleer is going to six hours a day as well and Cumberland Furnace is six hours as well,” Mofield said. Mofield explained that under current labor contracts, existing postmasters’ hours cannot be reduced prior to Jan. 9, 2015. He said if the Vanleer postmaster chooses to move to another position or retire prior to that date, then the hours at the Vanleer facility could be cut at that time. If not, then the changes will come early next year. Mofield and the other postal service officials said the Cumberland Furnace Post Office remains at six hours because it handles two large rural routes of about 100 miles each, and not necessarily because of its workload at the retail window. While the federal POST Plan continues to assess the viability of post offices across the country, Mofield did not say last week that the Vanleer Post Office will be evaluated for possible closing, but said its daily hours will be cut to six.