Thursday, March 10, 2011

Postal service tells folks in tiny town they might lose their post office; could keep mailboxes

Residents of Fairfield, Ky., population 78, have been put on notice that their post office might close, and the city's current and former mayor say that could signal the death of the community. "We just feel like it’s going to be one more nail in the coffin that will end our city," former mayor Mary Ellen Marquess told Stephanie Hornback of The Kentucky Standard in the county seat of Bardstown. (Photo by Hornback)

Her comments came after the United States Postal Service sent Fairfield residents a letter on Feb. 25 that asked how they got their mail because "the maintenance of the Fairfield Post Office may not be warranted," Hornback reports. We haven't heard of other communities receiving such letters, and would like to know about others.

"Fairfield Mayor Tommy Trent said a representative from the postal service contacted him before the letter went out and asked if the city would be interested in buying the property, making one side its city hall and keeping the P.O. boxes on the other," Hornback writes. Under that arrangement the post office, which is currently open for four hours on weekdays, would no longer employ a clerk.

"A town loses its identity if it gets stuck with a rural route address," Trent said. "Although we’re small, an incorporated town with a post office and its own ZIP code means a lot as far as communicating with your people. It would just be a total loss for the city itself." (Read more)

A couple of counties to the east, in Midway, the USPS is scaling back the level of service, prompting concerns that the office might be closed. No way, the service says, but some residents are skeptical.

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