LIVERMORE FALLS — U.S. Postal Service officials opened its first village post office in Maine on Wednesday morning at Pike’s Corner Oasis on Park Street, also known as Route 133.

The Postal Service announced in 2011 that it would be reducing hours or closing hours at post offices around the country to run more efficiently and save money, and also as a way to increase access to postal products and services in rural communities.

These village post offices are in a variety of locations, including convenience stores, gas stations, local businesses, libraries or other government agencies. They are operated by the management of those locations, according to Melissa Lohnes, corporate communications spokeswoman for the northeast area of the U.S. Postal Service.

Pike’s Village Post Office will be located in an alcove inside the general store/restaurant. It will offer a variety of Postal Service products and services including first-class mail “Forever” stamps, prepaid priority mail flat-rate products, free priority mail flat-rate boxes and package drop off.

There also will be post office boxes on a carousel in the future.

The East Livermore Post Office, a short distance down the road, will have its hours reduced in from about eight to two as was proposed by the Postal Service in 2012. The hours are still in the process of being established.

“We are not closing the East Livermore Post Office,” Lohnes said.

Livermore Falls Post Master Brian Carrier confirmed that.

“We are simply just adding more access to postal products.”

A rural carrier would put the mail and parcels in the boxes and then lock them, a Postal Service representative told people who attended a meeting on the East Livermore Post Office in 2012 at the Livermore Falls Town Office.

The village post office concept was discussed at that meeting.

Postal Service officials, store owner Charlie Barker of Leeds, Manager Deb Barnard, customers, employees and others gathered for the brief celebration, ribbon cutting and cake inside the store on Wednesday.

“We know this will be a success,” John Godlewski, district manager of the Postal Service, said.

It will also extend the time people will be able to access postal services.

Pike’s hours 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Barker said the store was built in 1995.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re going back to the system that we had when I was a kid. The post office was located in the general store in North Leeds,” Barker said.

It is very exciting to have this happen, Kathy Rokowski, a Postal Service marketing manager, said.

It is a great store to set up a village post office in, she said.

“I was very excited when we were approached,” Barnard said. “I think it will bring people into the store and increase foot traffic. I’m just really excited about how this will help our business grow.”

[email protected]

John Godlewski, District Manager, U.S. Postal Service

Kathy Rokowski, Marketing Manager, U.S. Postal Service

Erikka Brann, Retail Manager, U.S. Postal Service

Brian Carrier, Livermore Falls Postmaster, U.S. Postal Service

Tamara Morgan, Livermore Falls Officer in Charge, U.S. Postal Service

Debra Barnard, Store Manager, Pike’s Corner Oasis

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