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Rural post offices hope to be saved from closures
It's been on ongoing debate. How can the Postal Service save rural post offices from closing down? The Postal Service announced Wednesday a plan to cut Saturday delivery. Some say it may be the key to sparing rural post offices.
News 5's Lauren Conley spoke with residents in Trumbull Thursday.
The Postal Service has tried and failed to make Saturday cutbacks before. They're hoping Congress doesn't step in. But even if the change goes through, is it enough to save rural post offices?
"I don't know where we'd be without the post office," said resident Donna Bieck.
The Postal Service has plans to cut Saturday delivery of 'Flat Mail' or letters and magazines. But, packages and medication would still be delivered.
"If it means keeping our post office open the other five days a week, then why not give up one day of mail delivery," Bieck said.
The Postal Service says this will save $2 billion annually. But, with a loss of almost $16 billion last year, is this enough?
"I like having the post office here. If you need stamps or something like that, you don't have to drive 12 miles to Hastings to get them," said Larry Rouse.
Though some people are hoping that ending Saturday flat mail delivery will save rural post offices, rumors among village officials here in Trumbull are that this post office will be closed, come March, regardless.
Even residents are skeptical the post office will be here to stay.
"I think the time's coming when we're going to lose them in these small towns because they just don't have enough business," Rouse said.
Congress has mixed reactions to the Postal Service's announcement.
Though, Congressman Adrian Smith has said he'd like to see reform that will quote "not disproportionately impact rural communities".
One resident tells News 5 that a number of community members sent letters to the postal service months ago.
Everyone got the same response.
"A lot of people said, 'well, you know, the post office is a place where you can post community events and things like that' and they said well you can do that at your local grocery store. Unbeknownst to them, we don't even have a local grocery store," said Rouse.
The Saturday cutback is expected to start August 5th. Some members of Congress say they will act.
But, for now, the postmaster general is using a loophole in the current stop-gap funding measure, to act on his own.
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