Save the small town post office?
Thu, 24 Mar 2011 14:48:38 GMT —
UPDATED: April 28 at 9:46 a.m.
Magan Spees with the Daily Gate City reports that it's official. The citizens of Luray, Mo. have been informed that their post office will close within 60 days.
Click here to read the entire story from the Daily Gate City website.
Spees writes that in a letter sent to Luray residents, dated March 11, Vickie Gourley, manager of post office operation in St. Louis, said that a review of the business activities of the post office revealed that the office workload had declined. Our office review revealed an average of 9.8 daily retail window transactions. This reduced workload suggests that the maintenance of an independent office at Luray may not be warranted.
KHQA's Lindsey Boetsch has reached out to the Luray Post office for a comment Thursday and we'll try to bring you more information, so check this story later.
UPDATED: April 3 at 3 p.m.
Several Tri-State towns may lose their post office due to deep budget cuts from the U.S. Postal Service.
Recently Luray residents crowded into their small postal facility to voice their concerns and their desire to keep their little post office.
According to the Quincy Herald Whig...they're not alone.
Post offices in Paloma, Chambersburg, Coatsburg and Worthington are also being considered for closure due to cuts.
There's no official word on when the final decisions on which offices will close will be made.
UPDATED March 24, 2011 at 4:30p.m.
The future of a Tri-State post office is uncertain, and residents are upset about it. The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing its office in Luray, Mo. The town of about a hundred people is west of Kahoka in Clark County.
A representative from the United States Post Office spoke with the crowd for about an hour about the possibility of closing their local post office. But the visit turned into more of a standing-room-only protest.
It started to get hot inside the tiny Luray Post Office once all 40 people in attendance crammed their way inside to make their voices heard. Almost half of the population of Luray, Missouri crowded into the town's small post office like a can of sardines to make a point. With signs and their presence, they're sending a message to the U.S. Postal Service that they want to keep their small town mail hub.
Luray resident Carolyn Ferdig said, "I really think our community needs their post office. There are a lot of older people around here and a lot of them aren't able to drive or go places. I think if we lose this, we lose a part of our town. We lose what people depend on. People gather here, they get information here. It's the mainstream of our town."
Rick Fischer doesn't want to see the post office close either.
He said, "These rural areas have people that are very much in need and need to be served."
Luray's post office isn't big. During the few hours it is open, customers can pick up and send mail and buy stamps. If the Luray Post Office closes, they'd have to drive to Wyaconda, almost nine miles away, to get mail from their P.O. boxes. People here say they should not have to drive to an out-of the way town to pick up their mail. Residents of Luray said, while closing the branch might be more efficient for the USPS, it is not going to be efficient for them as customers.
Ferdig said, "I understand their point, if it were open even a few days a week, it would be something. Why close it all together?"
These protestors say they understand efficiency, but say something greater is at stake.
Ferdig said, "We've lost so much already, losing our post office is not going to help us at all."
Resident Helen St. Clair said, "Right now its very hard for small communities to survive as is."
Currently the small branch is kept open strictly to sell stamps, money orders and to house local P.O. boxes. It's hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The USPS says a study was conducted to see how many people use the branch and ultimately it was very few people. The crowd argued that the small window of time in which they have to visit the post office is not enough, and they'd like to see a change in the hours. They can't use post office boxes because they are at work.
If the Luray Post Office is eliminated, customers would have to drive to Wyaconda, almost nine miles away, to get mail from their P.O. boxes. This small community seems to agree that they should not have to drive to a town that is out of the way for them and not along a route most peopke travel to pick up their mail.
We talked to a USPS spokesperson who says residents should get their mail from a carrier if they feel that way.
The United States Postal Service says nothing is set in stone yet. But closing small post offices like Luray's is something that USPS has to consider in order to become more efficient and streamlined. They say revenue is down because people aren't using the postal service like they used to, due to the rise of the internet.
Valerie Hughes, USPS spokesperson said, "The U.S. Postal Service always appreciates hearing from our customers and we will take this into consideration. But we have to evolve our operations with the times and how people use the mail service."
The United States Postal Service is faced with some stiff competition as the internet steals more customers and revenue each moment. They are trying to find alternatives to cut costs and branch closures are part of the efforts.
Click here to read more from U.S. News online.
We still want to hear from you. How much do you rely on your local post office? Is it a hardship to not have one close by?
It's important to note, mail carriers for the area already are based out of Wyaconda.
There's no word on when the postal service will decide the fate of the Luray post office.
They're holding an open house/public comment period Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to discuss the issue with the community.
We've heard from one resident in Luray . She says if the post office closes, her community spirit will be dealt a serious blow. She says it is very hard for the small communities to survive these days and this won't help anyone in town.
KHQA's Melissa Shriver will attend the meeting and will bring you more details throughout the day here and on KHQA 's News at 5 and 10 p.m.
How much do you rely on your local post office? Is it a hardship to not have one close by?