Reduced hours proposed at two post office locations

The United States Postal Service has announced reduced service window hours at the Douglas and Auke Bay post office locations beginning March 5.

Currently, the two locations are open for window service weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with Douglas closed from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Both are open Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

In less than a month,this is expected to change to weekday service from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with weekends staying the same. Fliers posted to the doors of both locations announce the new hours.

State representatives for the USPS were unavailable for immediate comment.

In response to the reduced hours, Auke Bay resident Michael Hunter sent a letter to Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich asking for help. In it he said he believed reducing Auke Bay's hours was a step toward the location's permanent closure.

Hunter said his local post office is an "integral part" of how the community sees itself.

"Auke Bay is a hamlet 12.5 miles from downtown Juneau," Hunter wrote in his letter. "Many of the residents living out the road have PO boxes in Auke Bay for convenience. There is a flourishing harbor at Auke Bay and to lose our post office is to lose our identity."

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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