Post office closure in Chambersburg, Ill.
Thu, 08 Sep 2011 15:58:07 GMT —
It's a sign that times are changing.
Chambersburg's Post office will officially close on Friday, September 9.
It's one of the first of many planned post office closures throughout the United States to deal with increased cost of doing business combined with shrinking postal service revenues. That's mostly due to the rise of the internet.
Why is this necessary?
George Samia, manager post office operations area 7 said, "The mailing needs have changed. Our nation is not mailing as much as they in the past. It's gone down 20 percent in the last five years."
George Samia is the Post Office Operations Manager for most of the Tri-State area in Missouri and Illinois. He says out of 32 thousand post offices in the country, right now 37 hundred rural and metropolitan facilities are being studied for possible closure.
Samia says there are a number of reasons taken into account when studying the viability of a post office. One is revenue from the service counters, as well as the distance from other post offices.
Jake Russell with MyJournalCourier.com points out that the doors are closing just shy of 44 years to the day after they opened for the first time.
Postmaster Terri Smith has been working at this office 12 years.
Smioth said,"It's hard. But I think once people understand the services offered by the rural carrier and that their mail will come right to their mailbox, they'll like it in the end."
Samia said, "People in this community won't be able to stand in a brick-and-mortar post office, but the service will still be available."
Samia says for many towns, the hardest part is losing what's perceived as the community's hub. Postmaster Smith says that's what will be missed here in Chambersburg.
Smith said, "People meet up here and talk and get updates on their neighbors. That's what will be lost."
Starting Saturday, Chambersburg residents will be getting their mailed delivered from a rural postal carrier from Griggsville.
Mail has been sorted in Griggsville for a couple of years now, but even with the closure, residents will be keeping their zip code.
This closing, although planned for awhile now, follows announcements that the United States Post Office is on the 'Brink of Default."
On the USPS website, a news release states that "without enactment of legislation by the end of this month, the Postal Service faces default, as funds will be insufficient to make a congressionally mandated $5.5 billion payment to pre-fund retiree health benefits, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told a Senate committee on September 6."
Read more from the Postmaster General TMs written testimony at http://about.usps.com/news/testimony-speeches/welcome.htm.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Does this closure and the unsettling news of the USPS in crisis make you want to use their services more to help keep them around? We want to hear from you! Post your comments below or on our Facebook page here.