SCOTT — The futures of post offices in Scott and Latty are up in the air according to information from the United States Postal Service. A notice sent to both offices states that meetings are scheduled for next week to access their situations and to discuss possible solutions. Can these long time post offices survive with shorter hours or should there be a discontinuance study done?

Postal customers recently received surveys asking about the current situation and the available options. Any resident who did not get one, can pick one up at the post offices.

The meetings are scheduled for July 15, with a noon start time in Latty and 2 p.m. in Scott. This is the way postal customers can register their opinions and help determine the best solution. Local officials will be on hand to explain the survey results. A final decision for either office will not be made until after the meetings.

There are four different options to be discussed in each village. The first is to cut the hours in accordance with the actual office workload. For Scott, the hours would be cut from seven and a half hours per day to four. The current Saturday hours would be the same and the access to the local receptacle would not be impacted. In Latty the hours would be reduced from seven and three-quarters hours to two hours.

The second option entails doing a discontinuance study and offer roadside mailbox delivery with a rural carrier will handling the retail and delivery.

A third option is to conduct a discontinuance study to see if a local business would meet the criteria. These local establishments would be contracted through the U.S. Postal Service and would offer stamps and mail supplies.

The fourth option would be to discontinuance study and relocate the post office box services to another nearby location.

In May 2012, plans were announced that would hopefully achieve significant cost savings to get the organization back to financial stability. At that time, following meetings and research, cuts in hours were required at Grover Hill, Haviland, Melrose and Cecil. At the same time, the U.S. Postal Service announced it would be modifying retail window hours in some locations. At that time, Latty and Scott were listed as under consideration for reducing daily window hours – Latty from eight hours to two, and Scott from eight hours to four; however, they did not change the office hours.

The U.S.Postal Service has been suffering from financial difficulties for a number of years. With online bill pay, online banking, email, online shopping, greeting cards and much more, customers do not use the mail as often as they once did.

The U.S.P.S. maintains a retail network of more than 31,000 post offices and is the only delivery system that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and post office boxes.

The Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe said, “The job of postmaster general was once one of the country’s most politically powerful. It is also one of the oldest; a version of the position existed before the Declaration of Independence.”

But today, Donahoe finds himself continually caught in the political crossfire. Donahoe is wrestling with how to manage the Postal Service’s future as it faces huge losses, dwindling mail volume and ballooning costs. It may seem strange now, but Donahoe was originally drawn to postal work by the money. He saw his salary rise from $4.76 per hour as a postal clerk 37 years ago to $245,000 annually in his current office.