More than 60 United States Postal Service retail offices in Mississippi are on the expanded access study list to be studied for possible closure.
The ones closest to this area are the Etta post office and the Dumas post office.
The study should take approximately four or five months to complete, according to postal spokesperson Nancy Ross.
She said that there will be a community meeting concerning both of these post offices and residents that use either of these are welcome to attend the meetings and voice their opinions on the matter.
“There will be a community meeting in those communities and the public will have a chance to ask questions and express their views at those meetings. The location, date, and time of the meeting will be posted at the post office. All public are invited to attend,” said Ross. “We encourage all of the customers in Etta and Dumas to watch out for the notice and we encourage you to come and voice your opinion on your local post office.”
According to USPS, “Our customer’s habits have made it clear they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business. More and more of them are choosing to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phone and at their shopping destinations. And that means the need for us to maintain nearly 32,000 retail offices has diminished.”
“So we are taking the next step in right-sizing our retail network by studying approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs. As part of this study, we are introducing a retail-replacement option –– Village Post Offices –– as an option for affected communities,” according to USPS. “Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.”
Ross said, “We are focusing on expanded access and being convenient for customers.. The USPS has opened up the concept of a village post office. We want to be where you go already. Local businesses can apply to be a village post office and postal supplies can be purchased there and shipped from there as well.”
The USPS also stated that more than 35 percent of the postal service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
He said, “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business. By working with third-party retailers, we’re creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them. The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”
The postmasters at the Etta and Dumas post offices were told by the USPS that they were not allowed to comment on this story.
USPS said that the postal service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
The list of offices being studied and additional information can be found at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/expandedaccess/welcome.htm.