More than a half dozen rural post offices in central Maine will host meetings over the next two weeks aimed at determining when the offices will be open for retail business as part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Postal Service to reduce costs.

The meetings are scheduled to provide a report on the results of a mail survey of residents living in those specific ZIP codes.

On Tuesday, a public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the North Monmouth post office at 140 North Main St. in North Monmouth. A 2012 plan called for retail hours there to be reduced from eight hours to four.

Also Tuesday, a similar meeting is set for 4 p.m. at the Corinna post office, at 15 Exeter Road in Corinna, where the original proposal called for a reduction from eight hours to six.

Melissa Lohnes, in corporate communications for the U.S. Postal Service’s Northeast Area, said the meetings will help determine what the future retail and lobby hours will be and whether they will be split between morning and afternoon, for instance.

She said no closures are planned for any of the local post offices, and none of the changes should affect delivery services.

The Postal Service is nearing the end of its two-year look at various post offices across the U.S. as part of a way to reduce a deficit that was $5 billion in 2013. Last November, a report from the U.S. Postal Service also said savings from “plant consolidations, restructuring hours at Post Offices, reductions in delivery units, and workforce optimization resulted in approximately $1 billion of savings in 2013.”

Lohnes said the two years of surveys and meetings will end in September, with the changes being enacted shortly thereafter.

Last week, public meetings were held in post offices in Belgrade Lakes, Freedom, Smithfield and Troy.

Here is a list of other upcoming local public post office meetings:

• China Village, 4 p.m. July 29 (a reduction from eight hours to four);

• East Winthrop, 4 p.m. Wednesday (a reduction from eight hours to six);

• New Sharon, 6 p.m. Aug. 5 (a reduction from eight hours to six);

• New Vineyard, 4 p.m. Aug. 5 (a reduction from eight hours to four);

• Vassalboro, 6 p.m. July 29 (a reduction from eight hours to four).

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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