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U.S. Postal Service’s Decision to Re-Size Could Affect Some Ozarks Towns

The United States Postal Service has announced that it will be resizing, thereby closing many of its existing post office locations. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe tells us what this means for small, rural post offices around the Ozarks.

Because there are so many other options for sending mail these days -- grocery stores, kiosks, and retail chains -- the Postal Service no longer sees a need for all of its 32,000 retail offices nationwide. It will start conducting studies of 3,700 of those offices to see how efficient they are. Kimball Gossin is a resident of Crane, Missouri, and uses the local post office almost every day. He says it would be a major inconvenience to him and other residents if their post office were to shut down. 

“Instead of taking your packages down every day you’d probably have to start setting up a day to send your packages off. Because if I had to drive 15, 20 miles every day to the post office, I’m not going to do that, especially with gas prices,” Gossin said.

The Postal Service has recently introduced Village Post Offices as potential replacements. These are small desks or services operated by local businesses like pharmacies, grocery stores and other retailers that offer the basic post office services like stamps and flat rate packaging. Gossin doesn’t mind this idea.

“As long as you’d still be able to pick up your stamps and still get your mail every day and be able to mail stuff off, if that’s going to save them money, I mean that’s fine with me. Just as long as I’m not having to drive way out of town to just go to the post office,” Gossin said.

Ultimately, the Postal Service looks to become smaller and more efficient, in an effort to save money in hard economic times, even if it means sacrificing certain mailing services once offered to customers. For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.