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Guys rallies to save post office

Mayor Keith Rinehart and Raymond Price, life long residents of Guys, discussing the petition to save the Guys Post Office. Price previously served as town alderman for 12 years, is one of over 25 volunteers and is shown signing the petition.

More than 25 citizens attended a meeting last Thursday to develop their grassroots campaign to save the Guys Post Office that has served their community since the early 1900’s.

Mayor Keith Rinehart reported that the citizens have split up different areas to go door to door to get a petition signed by any resident in favor of saving their local post office.

“We are sharing the national and state senators, congressmen and representatives numbers and contact information for any citizen who is willing to contact their offices to voice their personal concerns regarding the postal service here in Guys,” said Rinehart.

Rinehart said he is very happy with the support so far.  Plans are to hold another meeting this Thursday at 6 p.m. in the town center, and he invites all concerned citizens to come and join the effort.

As mentioned in last week’s article, there is no clear justification as of this printing why some residents in the city limits have Ramer addresses.

Postal Service Spokesperson David Walton of Louisville, KY, stated that these post offices are currently under study to determine if closure is recommended.

“The reason is that first class mail revenue was at 213 billion in 2006 and last year saw 170 billion in revenue. The department has seen over a 20 percent drop over the last year as over 50 percent of people are now paying their bills online when it was less than five percent,” said Walton.

More than 3,700 post offices, the majority of them rural, are involved in the study. “Out of 32,000 post offices nationally, 80 percent do not bring in enough revenue to cover their expenses. If  we can continue to provide regular and effective service to our customers, we are going to do it. There are some instances where we may look into moving the service into town centers or retail outlets such as Guys,” said Walton.

Walton stated that the postal service gets zero tax dollars from the government and 35 percent of their past revenue was now in alternate retail access locations. There are over 100,000 locations nationwide where stamps can be purchased outside a post office. Many citizens use USPS.com to mail packages.

In addition, a 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act required the postal department to pre-fund retirement benefits for all employees. This costs 5.5 billion in pay outs last year which put the department in the red.

Things like five day a week delivery would save a potential 3 billion annually.  Walton does not expect any post offices to close before December 2011.

“A rural postal carrier has become a post office on wheels as they can perform a lot of the services a post office can,” Walton said.

“Right now this is in the study phase. If there is a determination to close the post office, a public notice will be posted in the post office. Citizens will also be able to fill out questionnaires as to how often and how valuable the post office is to them personally. There is also an opportunity to appeal the closing if filed within 30 days of the notice. This appeal will bring the post office up for re-review and delay any decision for an additional 120 days,” Walton continued.

For the town of Guys, the letters that are written from the mayor and board of aldermen and volunteers remain passionate about their attempt to keep postal services in their community.

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