Glenwood residents voice concern about post office

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Glenwood residents packed town hall Monday night to hear answers about the possible closing of the post office.

A handout, which included a letter to residents from the US Postal Service, was given to attendees.

The letter explained that due to financial issues, the USPS has done a feasibility study to look at consolidating operations in Alabama and closing a number of post offices.

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Viola Freeman, who is a manager of consumer affairs, was on hand to explain the situation and field questions.

Freeman said that there were two criteria looked at by the Postal Service during their review of Alabama’s post offices: 1) Is the postmaster position vacant? and 2) Is there another local post office that can absorb the function and operation of the post office?

“Glenwood was chosen as one of those offices that does not have an assigned postmaster,” she said.

Resident Wayne Gibson asked about the logistics of moving post office boxes to Luverne.

“If you move 154 boxes from here to Luverne, they’re still going to have to pick up another employee to handle the load,” he said. “Explain to me where the savings is.”

“In most cases, the savings outweigh the expense,” said Freeman, who added that the feasibility study looked at issues like time spent and employee requirements.

While others voiced their opinion that they didn’t understand how that could be the case, Freeman said it was the only answer to the extent of her knowledge.

Probate Judge Jim Perdue said that losing the post office was not Glenwood’s fault — that the USPS was partially responsible.

“Part of the logic of closing the post office is that there’s no postmaster,” he said. “These people didn’t decide that. That was your organization’s decision. A post office closing in a large city is an inconvenience, but here, it’s a large part of this community.”

“I sincerely think you need to consider the fact that this is a town that has been doing everything they can to keep this post office, and you have created a way to get rid of it,” he continued. “That’s just not fair.”

Freeman stressed that no decision has been made concerning the fate of the post office, and that the postal committee will review letters from citizens.

“You can write to me,” she said. “I am your voice. If you have any letters or petitions, please submit them to me in writing within 10 days. I strongly recommend that you don’t just write ‘Keep our post office open.’ They need to hear substantial information like the number of businesses that will be impacted.”

Out of around 50 town hall meetings conducted, Freeman said that only one or two post offices had been kept open.

Letters must be received by June 16, and can be mailed to the following address:
Viola Freeman, PO Box 395, Birmingham AL, 35201.