Buffalo Post Office Weighs Options - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Buffalo Post Office Weighs Options

Updated: Oct 1, 2012 06:34 PM CDT

Rural post offices could be in jeopardy of closing again. Up to 3,700 low-revenue post offices were on a list to close or consolidate in May. However, the U.S. Postal Service scrapped that plan after protests from many communities. Now they've decided to look at other options, like reducing hours. They're talking with each rural town starting with Buffalo in our area.

It's all part of what the U.S. Postal Service is calling the "Post Plan." As part of the plan they are sending out surveys to people, asking them if they want to keep their office open, but with shorter hours. The other options include doing a discontinuance study and either getting roadside mailbox delivery, finding an alternative location operated by a contractor like a local business, or relocating their mail delivery to another nearby post office.

Residents in the town said knowing their post office could potentially close is very disheartening. Judy Hammons and her family have lived in Buffalo for more than 60 years and she said the post office in the small river town is much more than a place to get mail.

"If we lose our post office, we lose our identity, town dries up," she said.

 Hammons said the fact the U.S. Postal Service is even considering shutting post offices down is extremely frustrating.

 "I don't think it's right, I don't think it's fair, I'm afraid."

 Hammons said the post office is not only a place for people to visit, and share information, like a missing cat or pancake breakfast. It's also a convenience for the people of Buffalo, especially the elderly, who don't have the ability to go into town for things like stamps and packages.

"The older people, and we have a lot of older people in this town, it would be almost impossible for them, it's sad, it's just sad."

Hammons said while she, and many other residents have voted to keep the post office open, but with shorter hours, she is still worried this is the beginning of the end.

"They are saying we can fill out this questionnaire and they will consider what people have to say, I really don't think they are going to consider what we have to say, really think it's been decided."

We have been told Buffalo is one of the first places to get the survey because it does not have a postmaster right now. Results from the survey in Buffalo will be reviewed at special town hall meeting at the post office October 18th at 6:00 p.m. The goal is to decide what to do with each post office, based on the results of that survey.

 Around 13,000 post offices nationwide will be reviewed using this plan. It is expected to save a half-billion dollars per year. While Buffalo is among the first to get these surveys, there are dozens of other small towns in our area that will soon be seeing surveys like this one in the mail.

To find out if your post office is on the list click this link: http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/assets/pdf/postplan-affected-post-offices-120509.pdf

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