Numerous modifications have been outlined for Postal Service changes with the Gering office, and the mayor is among those not happy with them.
Rick Pivovar, district manager of the Central Plains District of the U.S. Postal Service, said in a May 27 letter to Sen. Ben Nelson that “Customers will likely notice little or no change in their home or business delivery service.” However, Pivovar said some customers may experience later delivery of their mail.
“They’ve been testing this for some time,” said Gering Mayor Ed Mayo. “I’ve noticed a dramatic change in service in the area where I live and other people have complained to me as well.”
Under the Postal Service plan, all City and Rural mail carriers working out of the Gering Post Office will be moved to the Scottsbluff office as of July 30. One position of mail carrier in Terrytown has already been eliminated and other carriers are filling in.
“The Postal Service looked at the opportunity to cut the one position as a cost savings, but it’s only slowed down the service,” Mayo said. “The way it is now, Scottsbluff gets their service first and Gering is second on the list.”
Under the proposal outlined in Pivovar’s letter, the Gering Post Office will continue to offer retail, P.O. Box and mail acceptance services. That would include purchasing stamps, mailing packages and other special services.
Also, if a Gering customer receives a “left notice” form, such as a certified letter, the customer can retrieve the item the following day.
However, the changes were made without any apparent input from Gering officials on how it would impact the community.
“I got the information about a month and a half ago,” Mayo said. “No one in the city had heard about it. When we started to inquire, we were told nothing was going on. But when we started to contact our Members of Congress, the Postal Service said they’ve been discussing it but nothing has been officially set in place. Obviously, someone has been trying to hide the fact that this has been planned.”
Mayo again urged everyone to contact their Congressional representatives. “This is unacceptable. Moving our letter carriers out of Gering is only the first step toward ending up with only a superintendent and mail box service – or maybe no service at all.”