Residents Rally Against U.S. Postal Service Changes

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service continues to battle to stay in business. Now, it's targeting a local community to help it do so.

Changes are on the way for Mulvane's postal services. In June, Mulvane's carrier services are scheduled to consolidate with Derby. It's the first step in closing the current Mulvane Post Office to replace it with a smaller building.

Tuesday night, residents rallied against the change.

"Mulvane's a nice sized town. We shouldn't be losing our post office," said resident Shirley Doughty.

But residents say they're afraid they will lose their office, as the U.S. Postal Service moves their mail carriers to operate out of Derby.

"That's just the first step towards finally taking away the post office here," said rally organizer Gary Townson.

"There's no reason for the older people in Mulvane to have to drive to Derby for their postal services," said Mulvane Resident Leo Appelhans.

But the service says no one will have to drive to Derby to find a post office. It says it's only moving carrier operations and will keep retail operations in Mulvane. These services include stamp sales and box pick-up. The only difference, according to the postal service, is that the operations will be out of a different, smaller location.

"This operational change is just one more way the postal service continues to become more efficient while delivering excellent service to our customers," said U.S. Postal Service Spokesman Brian Sperry.

But residents say the change shouldn't happen in Mulvane, especially since the new Kansas Star Casino will be completed soon. The casino is set to bring an influx of jobs and business to the Mulvane area.

"We should be increasing, not downsizing this post office," said Townson.

But the postal service says the change is necessary, as it posted an $8.5 billion net loss last year.

"We lost $8.5 billion last year. Business as usual is not an option for us," said Sperry.

But change in service isn't an option either, according to residents rallying Tuesday. So, they're signing petitions and hoping to get the attention of their U.S. Senators and Congressman to change the postal service's decision.

The postal service says it expects the changes in Mulvane to save tens of thousands of dollars annually. It's consolidating services across the country to help balance its budget.

A new location for the post office has not yet been determined, but residents say they're afraid it may end up in another retail location, such as a grocery store.

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