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Russellville office on Postal Service's potential hit list

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RUSSELLVILLE -- One Putnam County community is in danger of losing its post office as the U.S. Postal Service mulls a list of facilities it will review for possible elimination as it looks to cut costs.

The U.S. Post Office at Russellville is one of nearly 100 Indiana facilities on the list released Tuesday by the financially troubled federal agency.

Russellville, operating with zip code 46175, is home to 358 residents, according to the 2010 Census.

Most of the targeted sites are in rural areas and have low volume.

Other nearby communities on the Hoosier hit list are Quincy (pop. 250) in Owen County, Amo (pop. 401) in northwestern Hendricks County, Bridgeton in southeastern Parke County and New Richmond (pop. 333) in Montgomery County.

Also included in the study committee review are Cory, Bowling Green and Coalmont (pop. 402) in Clay County, Wingate (pop. 263) and Alamo (pop. 66) in Montgomery County and Coal City in Owen County.

The entire Indiana list can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/q1nNmU .

Overall, the Postal Service will study more than 3,600 offices, branches and stations for possible closing. Some sites might be replaced by retail stores, libraries or other government offices that would add postal services to their offerings.

The postal service lost $8 billion last year as more customers shifted to online mail and the recession cut advertising mail.

For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the Postal Service has introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. 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.

"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," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. "The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers' needs."

With 32,000 postal retail offices and more than 70,000 third-party retailers selling postage stamps and providing expanded access to other postal products and services, customers today have about 100,000 locations across the nation where they can do business with the Postal Service.

"The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner and more competitive and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities and deliver value," Donahoe added.

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and post office boxes.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund operations.

With the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private sector company, the Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500.

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