Stanton post office to see retail hours reduced, postmaster retireBy Stephen Dawkins Published 3:27pm Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Stanton post office, long a bastion of stability, will undergo drastic changes in the coming months.
The post office will see its retail hours reduced and Postmaster Carol Harrison retire.
Current hours at the post office are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, except for an hour during lunch. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Beginning Sept. 22, however, the post office’s retail window will be open for service only two hours each weekday, Harrison said.
The post office will still be “open” during other times of the day, as customers will have access to mail drop and post office boxes inside the building. The change will not affect mail delivery.
“It’s going to be a big change for people,” Harrison said, and she should know.
Harrison has been postmaster since May 2006 and has been at the post office for 23 years, but she will retire on Sept. 19.
Before Harrison, her mother, Mary Friday, was postmaster, as was Friday’s mother, Mildred Burnett.
“I’m a third-generation postmaster,” Harrison said. “There won’t be a fourth generation.”
Harrison’s ties to the postal service go back even further, as her great-grandfather, a Swedish immigrant, was a postmaster in Decatur, Ga. before moving to Stanton.
The Stantion post office opened in 1883 in an old lumber mill office. The office moved into its current building about 17 years ago.
Harrison said she looks forward to joining her husband in retirement and spending more time with her five grandchildren.
“I’m very excited about it,” she said.
She won’t have far to go. Her home is close enough to the post office that she could walk to work.
Stanton postal customers may be less excited about the change in hours.
A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on July 15 at the Stanton Community Center for residents to talk with postal officials about when they would like for the window to be staffed.
The Verbena Post Office changed its hours slighty in March 2013 after about 30 residents attended a meeting to show their support for keeping the office open.
The office’s hours were cut back 30 minutes per day.
“I can’t really tell much of a difference,” said clerk Valerie Arant, who was at the post office when the change was made. “It really didn’t hurt us at all. We were pleased with people showing their support.”
The change in Stanton will likely be more drastic.
The office’s only other employee is Linda Atcheson, who relieves Harrison when she’s unable to work. Johnny Higginbotham delivers the mail from the office, driving over from Maplesville.
The reduction in hours is something being seen at 246 rural post offices acros the state as the U.S. Postal Service tries to reduce costs.
Myra Atchison is one of Harrison’s regular customers, stopping by the post office to receive her mail at about 9 a.m. each day.
Depending on what hours are decided upon, Atchison may have to change her schedule.
“Just so long as it stays open…I really don’t want to see it closed,” Atchison said, but one of her fears will come to pass soon when Harrison retires. “We’re going to miss her.”