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Rural carriers are option for towns slated to lose post offices

Staff writer

Post offices in Florence, Lost Springs, Ramona, Burdick, Cedar Point, Durham, Cassoday, Elmdale, Potwin, and Lehigh have all received proposals to close from the United States Postal Service.

“The locations were chose because they have little foot traffic and have a workload of less than two hours a day,” Central Plains postal district regional spokesman Brian Sperry said. “Obviously, people in those cities are already gong to other cities for groceries or gas.”

Sperry said that the post offices mentioned above are still being studied for closure. Florence, Lost Springs, and Ramona will have town hall meetings with their postmasters at 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, and 20, respectively, to discuss the closings. The Florence meeting is in the ambulance building, the Lost Springs meeting is in Centre High School, and the Ramona meeting is in Trinity Parish Hall.

Meetings have already taken place inBurdick, Cedar Point, Durham, and Lehigh.

Sperry said each community still has 60- and 30-day periods to write letters and provide feedback to the United States Postal Service about the potential closure. Even after a notice of closure, residents still have a 30-day period to voice their concerns.

Sperry said the soonest any post office could close would be February.

Postal service in these locations will continue. Residents will have the option of using rural carriers who provide most of the same services as a post office; for stamps, residents would have to fill out a form to mail or call a number.

Sperry said the rural carriers already working in the area would cover new residents added to their delivery list.

The other option is to implement a village post office in a third-party location, either in a business or a government location.

“It will provide the most popular services, not all,” Sperry said.

Sperry said the USPS lost $8.5 billion last year and is projected to lose $10 billion this year, despite reducing costs by $12 billion.

Last modified Oct. 13, 2011

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