Iowans will soon be signing, stamping and mailing their holiday cards as nearly 200 post offices in the state face possible closure. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is serving on a House committee which he says is working to find ways to shift how the U.S. Postal Service accounts for the medical needs and retirement benefits of its employees.
Braley says, “One thing we’re trying to do is make sure that this lifeblood to so many communities is there long into the future and not balance the postal service’s problems on the backs of rural communities.”
Braley has visited several post offices in Iowa which are being studied for possible closure. In Dundee, Brandon, Onslow and Jesup. Braley visited several post offices in northeast Iowa this week, all being studied for possible closure — in Dundee, Brandon, Onslow and Jesup. He’s been talking with residents, too, about the situation.
“One of the things that has been considered is the possibility of ending Saturday delivery,” Braley says. “For most residents in rural communities threatened with the lost of their post office, they tell me they would give that up if it meant they still had five-day delivery in their community.”
Braley says a small town’s post office is more than just a building or a business. “The post office was one of the most important parts of the community I grew up in,” Braley says. “One of my most valuable possessions is a letter that my grandmother sent to my dad when he was serving in the South Pacific during World War II and that was from a small, rural post office.”
There are 178 post offices in Iowa that are on the current list for possible closure.
By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester