The communities of Rico, Ophir, and Egnar could see their local post offices go the way of the dinosaur, as the Postal Service braces for severe budgetary shortfalls. The Postal Service faces nearly $8 billion in budget deficits this year, and closing rural offices is one way the organization can cut costs.
Post offices in every state except Delaware are up for closure and will be reviewed according to how much money they bring in, how many hours of work are performed there each day and how close they are to other post offices, the Associated Press reports. In Colorado, 70 offices are up for review.
An unsigned letter addressed to postal customers at the Ophir Post Office urged residents to voice their protest over possible closure of the Ophir branch, advising residents to prepare statements for a public meeting the Postal Service is required to schedule prior to making a final determination. No meeting date has yet been scheduled. Pursuant to the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the Postal Service must offer a 60-day period in which customers can comment on the proposed closure, after which the organization has another 60 days to contemplate the closure.
The letter also urged residents to send written statements to the USPS District Manager, and to sign the petition at the Ophir Post Office.
John Humphries lives in Ophir where he operates his business, Lizard Head Cycling Guides. He notes that while the Internet has enabled him to work almost exclusively from home, being able to mail domestic as well as international mail directly from Ophir has made operating his business from that remote locale much more manageable.
“Ophir has had postal service since the Rio Grand Southern railroad made a stop at the Ophir Loop; it seems like closing our office now would be a step backwards,” Humphries says.
In addition to making his business more difficult to run, the closure of the Ophir Post Office would also be a hit to the community, Humphries thinks. “It’s our only store – it’s the place we see our neighbors and put up announcements… it’s part of our community.”
Written comments about closures of any of the three regional Post Office branches can be mailed to District Manager Selwyn Epperson, Customer Service and Sales, United States Postal Service, 7500 E. 53rd Place Room #1131, Denver CO 80266-9998.