Post office closure delayed until May

T he Clemons Post Office was granted a stay of execution last week after the U.S. Postal Service agreed to a five month moratorium on closings nationwide.

The agency agreed last Tuesday to postpone the closing of 3,700 post offices, including the Clemons branch until mid-May.

Clemons Postmaster Debbie Winkler confirmed that she had received a phone call from postal service officials telling her the branch would remain open for several more months.

“We have five more months. I don’t have a date; they just told us we’d be open until May. I don’t really know any more than that. They could extend it again, I don’t know,” Winkler said.

In a response to a request may by the multiple U.S. Senators, the postal service has agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of post office or processing facility until May 15, 2012,” the agency said in a statement.

A group of senators from mostly rural states, led by Bernie Senators ofVermont, and with support from Kristen Gillibrand ofNew Yorkpushed for the moratorium.

Rural offices have been targeted by the Postal Service as the agency continues to deal with a financial crisis.

The USPS posted an $8.5 billion loss in 2010 and deliveries have continued to decline over the last five years because of increased reliance on electronic mail.

The announcement to delay the closure of the Clemons branch comes only a few weeks after the agency announced they would close the office after business on Jan. 6.

The small one-room office was targeted for closure earlier this fall after the agency conducted a study that determined the disadvantages of remaining open were greater than the advantages.

Among the factors the agency examined were operating costs and business volume.

According to their findings, the branch averaged eight transactions per day and was losing far more money that it was taking in.

Officials concluded they could save approximately $44,000 a year by closing the branch.

When the office does close, most services provided at the office will be available from rural route carriers, including the delivery and pick up and mail and packages. Any service not available curbside would be available at post offices in Huletts Landing orWhitehall, officials said.

By delaying any closures, the postal service is hoping the enactment of legislation that could help the cash-strapped organization survive.

The agency receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage and other products.





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