The closure of the U.S. Postal Service processing and delivery center in Hickory recently has resulted in the delay of mail to post offices in North Wilkesboro and, in turn, to customers throughout the county.
The mail that was going through the Hickory plant is now being processed and sorted in Greensboro before coming to Wilkes.
“There have been some recent quirks in getting mail to our post office box customers in North Wilkesboro at the time to which they are accustomed,” said Monica Coachman Robbs, the Postal Service corporate communications spokeswoman for the Greensboro and Mid-Carolinas Districts. “Please let me assure you that our goal is always to make mail available at a consistent time each day.
“The post office apologizes for those times we do not meet our set standards. Employees at North Wilkesboro work diligently each morning to get the mail sorted and in boxes for their customers.”
A sign in the North Wilkesboro post office has, for several years, noted that mail will be in boxes by 10 a.m. The staff, however, has been able to get the mail in the boxes by 9 a.m. or earlier most days. Now the sorting and posting is being completed closer to the posted hour of 10 a.m.
A postal service employee noted that mail is being delivered to the post offices here an average of one hour later each morning, causing delays for all of the post offices and routes.
“There have been some changes to which some of the later times can be attributed,” said Ms. Robbs. “This change with the processing plants was one of several throughout the country the postal service had to make to address our financial crisis and the overall decline in mail volume,” she continued. “The move did result in some hiccups. Although the postal service has been doing such moves for more than 10 years, it is not a perfect process.”
She added, “The good news is that management officials are currently reviewing transportation plans to determine alternatives that will help the mail for Wilkes County and surrounding communities arrive earlier. These changes should help to ensure post offices in the area are able to meet their delivery times. The changes won’t happen overnight, but they are a priority for the postal service. We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we work through this process.”
According to Ms. Robbs, customers who have specific questions about mail delivery may contact the local office or report compliments or concerns to the post office at 1-800-ASK-USPS or online at www.usps.com. “Information reported via these methods can be tracked by district officials and give them an indication of when operational changes may be needed.
The changes in the postal service system have caused some delays in the delivery of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot to some customers in areas bordering Wilkes.