December 21, 2011 Edition

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Postal closings delayed

Gretchen Hunt

The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of any post office or mail processing facility until May 15 of next year, according to a statement released last week.

The statement reported that the delay was in response to a request made by federal legislators.

First District Congressman Rick Crawford said he is hopeful the postponement will give Congress time to pass postal reform legislation.

"Our grassroots movement to save rural post offices is paying off," he said. "The Postal Service cannot expect to close their cash gap by shutting down post offices in small communities. The First Congressional District stands to lose 100 offices."

Crawford has filed a bill that would prohibit the Postal Service from closing a rural post office if there is not another office within eight miles.

"The great majority of scheduled closures are in rural areas," he said. "The Protecting our Rural Post Offices Act will make sure rural Americans keep access to postal service."

The statement from the Postal Service also expressed a hope that the time will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation.

"Given the Postal Service's financial situation and the loss of mail volume, the Postal Service must continue to take all steps necessary to reduce costs and increase revenue," the statement read.

Meetings to still be held

The Postal Service will continue all necessary steps required for the review of facilities during the interim period, including public input meetings.

One such meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Saffell Fire Department in regards to the Saffell Post Office.

A meeting regarding the O'Kean Post Office will be held Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the O'Kean Community Center.

A meeting concerning the Powhatan Post Office was held Tuesday.

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