Postal Service officials give reasons for proposed office closings

The U.S. Postal Service is studying the possibility of closing more than 85 post offices in Oklahoma, mostly in rural areas, as a cost-cutting move.
by Bryan Painter Published: January 1, 2012
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The U.S. Postal Service is studying the possibility of closing more than 85 post offices in Oklahoma, mostly in rural areas, as a cost-cutting move.

On Dec. 13, the Postal Service agreed to delay the closing of 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices nationally until mid-May.

Dionne Montague, a Houston-based spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said, “Because of our financial challenges, the Postal Service regularly reviews and evaluates its post office operations in a continuing effort to better meet customers' service and retail needs, improve productivity, increase efficiency, and cut costs.”

She said current studies include offices across the country that meet these criteria: low activity offices that have had less than two hours of work per day for the past 12 months; stations with less than $600,000 annual revenue and five or more alternate access points within two miles; and those that have declining revenue in fiscal year 2010 as compared with the average revenue from 2008 and 2009.

The Postal Service had released a statement: “Our customer's habits have made it clear they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business. More and more of them are choosing to conduct their postal business online, on their smartphone and at their shopping destinations. And that means the need for us to maintain nearly 32,000 retail offices has diminished.”

The Postal Service hopes to set up “village post offices” at convenience stores and other sites to sell stamps, accept packages and, in some instances, provide post office boxes in the affected areas. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said about 35 percent of the agency's retail revenue comes from sales at grocery, drug and office supply stores, ATMs and online.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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