The mailman delivers in rain or shine, but some Orem residents feel the post office itself is not living up to this credo.

A proposed cutback in service hours at the Orem post office is causing people like Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce President Steve Densley to ask why the Postal Service is changing a good thing."I'm not mad, just concerned," he said.

For the past three years, the Orem post office has been open later than other post offices in Utah Valley, until 6 p.m.

But a new schedule to go into effect Saturday would move the closing time back to 5:30 p.m., the same as most other Utah Valley post offices.

Acting Orem Postmaster Jim Chatlin said there wasn't enough time to account for everything when closing at 6 p.m. because the dispatch trucks leave at 6:15 p.m.

"The Orem post office accommodates a lot of mail," he said. And when people came in at 5:55 p.m. to transact business, sometimes the mail would not make it to the trucks.

"I was asked to come up with a schedule that would accommodate all of our dispatches," Chatlin said.

But Clyde Weeks, recently retired Orem postmaster, said, "I am somewhat surprised at the change; I don't see any reason to cut back."

According to Weeks, the lengthened schedule was instigated as part of a national program to increase customer service. The program worked well for three years, he said.

Chatlin said that even though he hadn't heard any complaints yet, he expects some repercussions, but he feels people will become accustomed to the new schedule.

"Everyone was happy when the post office decided to stay open until 6 p.m.," he said. "And I am sure they will get used to 5:30 p.m."

He said the Orem post office stays open until 2 p.m. on Saturdays, which is a service that most other post offices don't offer.

"We are still open longer than other post offices," Chatlin said, referring to those that close at 5 p.m.

Densley said his biggest concern is for businesses in the area.

"I don't want to see the businesses short-changed," he said. The chamber spends a lot of time attracting businesses to Orem, and the city should try to make them feel as welcome as possible, he said.


(additional information)

Post office hours

Opening and closing times of larger post offices in Utah County:

Provo 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday 8:45 a.m. to noon

Provo East Bay 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

no Saturday service

Orem (until Jan. 5) 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Orem (after Jan. 5) 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

American Fork 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Pleasant Grove 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Spanish Fork 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon

Springville 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon