Some Kansas Communities Face Losing Their Post Offices

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Several small Kansas communities are in danger of losing a vital part of their identities. They face the growing chance that it will soon be closing time for their post offices.

Offices in these 11 towns are on the list of 2,000 across the country the postal services is considering for permanent closure.

o Greenwood: Neal, Virgil
o Harper: Danville, Freeport
o Marshall: Home, Summerfield
o Rush: Alexander
o Saline: New Cambria
o Stafford: Hudson
o Sumner: Geuda Springs, Milan

Milan's post office is one of eleven facing possible closure in Kansas in the coming months. Some people get mighty upset when a post office closes. But others seem to take it in stride saying it's just a fact of life.

"There are more dogs and cats than there are people," Boyd Jones, Milan Mayor said. There are about 59 residents in the tiny Sumner County town of Milan. It's been so long ago that nobody remembers when the train stopped here. But they've still got their post office--for now.

"They used to say if you lose your post office, you lose your town. But that's all we've got in this town is the post office as far as business," Jones, Milan Mayor said.

And it might not be open much longer. Post offices in Alexander, Danville, Freeport, Geuda Springs, Home, Hudson Milan, Neal, New Cambria, Summerfield and Hudson are facing possible closure in cost saving efforts by the U.S. Postal Service.

"The postal service is reviewing virtually all of its facilities to identify inefficiencies or savings," Brian Sperry, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said.

That, he Sperry said, is because the postal service lost $8.5 billion last year despite cutting costs by 9 billion. In the last quarter alone, losses amounted to $2.2 billion. "Business as usual is not an option." Closing offices means saving on building rents and some personnel, Sperry added. "The study will take into account the effect on the community served."

Lloyd and Priscilla Nettrouer stop here to pick up mail. But Lloyd doesn't buy stamps here. He buys them on the internet. "I don't think it's that big a deal as long as they deliver our mail and we don't have to go clear to Argonia," Priscilla Nettrouer said.

The postal spokesman said many who now pick up mail at post offices will get service from rural carriers. "It might be better they deliver my mail to me cause I live in the country and they won't deliver my mail."Ronny Blubaugh said.

Some of these small post offices have been on the postal service's chopping block before, yet survived. But as much money as the postal service is losing now, surviving this round of possible cuts isn't likely.

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