Faced with billions of dollars in annual losses, the U.S. Postal Service is proposing to reduce the hours of operation at the Slayden and Cumberland Furnace post offices as part of a plan to cut costs. While a final decision is expected this week, the proposed changes were announced Friday by a postal official at both offices. Sandra Quick, postal operations manager over 188 offices in the Nashville area, told small groups at both post offices that the changes likely will go into effect after the first of the year. At Slayden, where the post office had originally been targeted for closing, Quick told a group of 20 residents the hours of operation for the retail window will be reduced to 2-4 pm Monday-Friday and the Saturday hours will remain 8 am-noon. Quick said modifications likely will be made to the building to allow 24-hour access to post office boxes, but the “current day’s mail will be available later in the day.” She said a postal employee will only be in the building two hours each weekday to place the mail in the boxes and sell stamps and other services. The Cumberland Furnace Post Office is proposed to be open 9 am-4 pm and closed noon-1 pm for lunch on weekdays and remain open 7-11 am Saturdays. The office is currently open 7:30 am-4 pm with an hour for lunch. That building already has 24-hour access to boxes. Quick said the postal service is seeing a declining workload as more transactions and social interactions are conducted over the Internet. Quick said a notice of final decision should be posted at both offices within a week and the hours will officially change in a couple of months. Residents at the Slayden meeting said they were pleased that the post office is not being closed, but not as happy about the mail being available later in the day. “This is not about closing,” Quick said, but she added, “I don’t know what a year from now holds or six months from now.” No other post offices in Dickson County were included in Friday’s announcements.