Gilliam residents fear stamp out
Area Post Office Manager Cynthia Bolles explained 35 percent of all post office transactions occur outside 'brick and mortar' post offices.
"But that brick and mortar is part of our community," said Gilliam resident Mindee Grimes
In the last two weeks Bolles has traveled to rural communities providing facts regarding the U.S. Postal Service's financial crisis and the 3,653 post offices under evaluation. On Friday roughly two dozen residents voiced concerns at Gilliam City Hall about the potential closure.
While Bolles attributed much of the post office's financial crisis to Internet transactions and alternative mailing services, many expressed the Gilliam Post Office is the only service they'd ever used.
A few senior citizens in the crowd scoffed at the idea of using the Internet for communication, and one wanted to know how her medicine would be shipped to her. An Ebay seller said his business would be highly inconvenienced, if he had to ship packages from Slater.
Another said eliminating the post office could dissuade new businesses from forming in Gilliam and wondered how the closure might affect the school. One bold resident suggested closing the office in Slater and leaving the Gilliam Post Office alone.
"I didn't pick these 29 post offices, headquarters did," Bolles said.
Bolles answered each concern. If the post office closed, a local business could house a Village Post Office, which could handle certified mail, stamp purchases and potentially post office boxes. The U.S. Postal Service could also place a lockbox in town where mail and packages could be retrieved.
Bolles explained the postal service will study Gilliam's office needs, proximity to other post offices, the structural condition of the office, retail revenue transactions, community input, consumer access, the impact on employees, the cost savings and the long-term needs of the post office.
She stressed community concerns would be heard and urged the residents to fill out the surveys available at the post office, claiming the postal service does consider all aspects of each situation.
"You can't close a post office just because they won't make money," Bolles said.
Bolles told the crowd she even shot photos of the post office and the community to include in the study.
"But you didn't line all of us senior citizens up and get a picture of us," said Gilliam resident Evelyn Johnson. "That's who this is going to hurt."