Residents of the Devil's Elbow area received some good news Friday at Sheldon's Market at a meeting concerning their post office.
According to the sign-in papers by the post office and Sheldon's Market, an estimated 50 to 100 area residents and interested individuals crowded into the small building and overflowed into the street.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is currently reviewing post offices nationwide, making decisions about closure, hour changes and other ways to cut costs.
The Devil's Elbow post office, housed inside Sheldon's Market, has been under review and residents were afraid the USPS would to close the office.
USPS manger of post office operations Michael Darling announced to the crowd that the post office would remain open with shortened hours, in part to the USPS' Post Plan.
Post Plan for Devil's Elbow means reduced hours of operation where people can actually engage in counter service inside the store. Patrons will still have access to their P.O. boxes as long as the store is open.
The news was met with local citizens' concern that the USPS may eventually close the Devil's Elbow branch.
After the announcement, attendees asked questions pertaining to keeping the post office open, about revenue and other issues related to USPS' plans in general.
Darling said he couldn't promise that the post office will stay open in the future, but USPS was looking for solutions to avoid closure.
One representative from the Route 66 Association of Missouri expressed concern that the new hours would prevent tourists from sending mail from the location and cause revenue loss.
Darling said he didn't know if consideration was given to the issue of tourism, but "those things existed long before we got to this point." He did reassure the crowd that if business grows, normal hours may be reconsidered.
Sheldon's Market does have the possibility of becoming a village post office under the Post Plan, should the USPS close the post office. Under the umbrella of becoming a village post office, changes in what services such as weighing and sending packages would occur. Village post offices can only handle flat rate packages.
Page 2 of 2 - According to Darling, the new hours of operation for the Devil's Elbow location will not go into effect until at least January. The new hours for the post office will be Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.