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USPS looks to slash more offices

7/27/2011

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

The U.S. Postal Service -- drowning in the proverbial sea of red ink -- has announced plans to look at closing nearly 3,700 mostly rural post offices, including an additional 13 in northwest Kansas.

Statewide, 133 Kansas post offices were included Tuesday on the list to be studied for possible closure. That list does not include some of the more than 30 post offices that already were on schedule to be closed, if studies show the closing is warranted. There are more than 600 post offices in Kansas.

Offices in northwest Kansas added to the list Tuesday are: Alton, Bogue, Catharine, Collyer, Damar, Edson, Herndon, Kanorado, Kirwin, Long Island, Norcatur, Paradise, Park and Waldo.

The list includes Athol, Brownell, Gaylord and Woodston, community post offices already targeted for closure, and community meetings conducted to obtain comments from residents.

The list, however, did not include post offices in Alexander and Cedar, which also were targeted for closure and have had the meetings.

"Our customer's habits have made it clear they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business," USPS said in a statement announcing the decision to look at closing the 3,700 post offices.

Because the public is choosing to conduct postal business online, the postal service said there's no need to maintain nearly 32,000 retail locations.

"So we are taking the next step in right-sizing our retail network by studying approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs," USPS said. "As part of this study, we are introducing a retail-replacement option -- Village Post Offices -- as an option for affected communities."

The village post offices would be operated by local businesses in the community where standard post offices are closed.

It would not, however, provide all of the services now available.