The U.S. Postal Service says post office hours are being reduced in many locations throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin as the system faces a big budget deficit.
About 550 employees in the region have taken early retirement.
Twin Cities Postal Service spokesman Pete Nowacki said most of the retirements took place on Jan. 31.
He said the retirees included people who were mail processers, maintenance workers or mechanics. In addition, Nowacki said service hours will likely be reduced at hundreds of post offices in small Minnesota towns.
"We're looking at 407 offices across Minnesota," Nowacki said. "That's a little bit less than half of the offices that we have in Minnesota."
Nowacki said service hours have already been cut in about a quarter of those locations, adding that public meetings are held in the communities before the reductions are implemented.