Brayton residents face Post Office closure


October 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Several western and southwest Iowa communities have held meetings recently. with regard to the possible closure of their post offices. Another meeting takes place Monday evening, in Brayton. Residents of the Audubon County town received notices and questionnaires over the past few days, pertaining to a town hall meeting to be held Monday, October 24th, at the Brayton Town Hall. The meeting begins at 7:15-p.m. Representatives with the USPS will be in attendance, to discuss the proposal to close the Brayton Post Office, and instead, provide delivery and retail services by rural delivery, under the administrative authority of the Audubon Post Office.

A few weeks ago, postal customers in Kimballton received similar notices, and a meeting to discuss the matter and rally support to save the office, was held October 4th. Other southwest Iowa post offices being studied for possible closure include Bridgewater, Cumberland, Earling, Elk Horn, Elliott, Jamaica, Lewis, Macksburg, Marne, Nodaway and Wiota.  Residents in Grant were put on notice earlier this year that they could be losing their Post Office. The could be turned into a “will be,” when the official closing was announced in August.

An appeal on that closing has been filed however, with the Postal Regulatory Commission, and a final decision on the matter is currently pending a hearing on the appeal. Earlier this Summer, Richard Watkins, spokesman for the Postal Service’s Des Moines based Hawkeye District, was quoted in the Omaha World-Herald, as saying that no offices will be closed before December.

There are nearly 270 small Post Offices around the State which could be on the chopping block. Officials say the Postal Service, which doesn’t receive tax dollars, lost $8.5 billion in its most recent fiscal year, the largest net loss in its history. It began a push in January to close 2,000 post offices nationwide (out of 32,000) in order to save money by any means possible. In July, the USPS announced that it was reviewing the use of 3,700 of its 32,000 offices nationwide.