Whitesburg KY

Save our post offices

The Postal Service is in the process of closing or consolidating thousands of post offices with no end in sight. Post offices located in rural America and impoverished sections of towns and cities will be hit hardest.

No tax dollars are saved in the closing of these post offices. The U. S. Postal Service is completely supported by postage and fees, and thus is supported by no tax dollars. Closing or not closing a post office has absolutely no affect on the federal deficit.

Indeed, a town without a post office will find it very difficult to attract a company to locate there. No company wants to be in a town that doesn’t have a post offi ce. Thus, closing a town’s post office automatically eliminates any economic development program that it might have or wish to have. This dynamic often result in the town drying up and disappearing, which in turn tends to sharply cut the advertising base for local media, and overall has a ruinous affect on an area’s economy. Multiply that by thousands and one has to conclude that the effect overall on rural America and rural America’s institutions (including community newspapers) would be disastrous.

Replacing a full service bona fide post office with retail service by a contract facility is a severe reduction in service. For example, the proposed contract facilities called “village post offices” will not provide money order service, will provide only flat rate parcel service, and most likely not provide post office box service. Many people in the aforementioned areas still use money orders to pay bills or rely on post office box service because of business or other legitimate reasons.

Another critical fact is that USPS can terminate a contract post office at any time without going through the steps described below and customers also lose the right to appeal a decision to close to the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Federal law prohibits the Postal Service from permanently closing a small post office just to save dollars. Under Title 39, United State Code 404(b), any decision to close or consolidate a post office must be based on certain criteria. These include the effect on the community served; compliance with government policy established by law that the Postal Service must provide maximum degree of effective and regular services to rural areas, communities and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining; the economic savings to the Postal Service; and other factors the Postal Service determines necessary.

If after reading this, you are concerned that your post office might be in jeopardy, please write to your Congressman and advise him or her that you are a constituent and adamantly oppose the U.S. Postal Service’s plans to close thousands of rural post offices cross the country. PHYLLIS CAUDILL Retired Roxana postmaster Cromona

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