by Dave Woehrle
KANEVILLE—An announcement calling for reduced hours at the Kaneville Post Office was made during the Kaneville Village Board meeting on Feb. 21.
The post office, located 2S101 Harter Road, officially reduced its working hours on Saturday. The office’s revised hours are 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Village trustee Pat Hill informed the board of the United State Postal Services’ decision to move forward with hour reduction.
“For now, we’ll see reduced hours. But we’ll see what we can do to change this,” she said.
Roger Fronek, Kaneville Post Office’s officer in charge, who began working in Kaneville in March 2012, will keep his job. However, the loss of hours, he said, is a disservice to the community. Fronek on Monday noted that the mail will now be a day behind.
“People have protested, made their points, but we’re getting the short end of the stick here,” he said.
Kaneville resident and business person Joann Murdoch spent the last few months attending local meetings and writing letters to the editor in regard to the reduction in post office hours.
“I’m down there at the post office two or three times a day because I run my business from home,” she said. “Like most people, I only have a P.O. box, so I have to go in to get my mail. I’m stymied as to why they are closing, as I spend a lot of money down there.”
Kaneville residents last fall received a letter notifying them of a town meeting to discuss post office budget issues. A public forum, hosted by Huntley Postmaster Derek Strissel on Nov. 1, was held with the intention of hearing comments from residents. The comments, Murdoch said, fell on deaf ears.
“There are no reports of what we said. And I think the argument about budget cuts is artificial,” she said. “When they cut hours, the revenue will be reduced. With less revenue, they’ll cut more hours. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Kaneville Interim Village President Rick Peck said he was disappointed in the decision.
“It just feels like no one is held responsible,” he said. “We’re a small town, and our post office is a part of our identity.”
One issue Murdoch brought up was online postage. When a resident purchases postage materials online for larger packages, only 10 percent of that revenue goes to Kaneville.
“I spend $500 online a month for postage and only $50 goes to our post office here. It’s not fair,” she said.
Murdoch wrote a letter to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin expressing her postal concerns. In his response, Senator Durbin stated the USPS has reduced operating costs by $9 million over
the last three years. Durbin said the Senate has passed bipartisan legislation to give the Postal Service proper resources, and that it’s on the House of Representatives to initiate proper USPS reform.
Hill said she will meet with Congressman Randy Hultgren in the coming week to work toward finding solutions for the reduced hours.