WASHINGTON, D.C. – With consolidations and closures of postal facilities already affecting southern West Virginia, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Tuesday lambasted the U.S. Postal Service for its latest report.
The USPS announced that it was considering closing 85 retail postal facilities in southern West Virginia, including Edgarton, Rawl, Verner and Ragland in Mingo County. Among others are Sarah Ann and Sharples in Logan County and Wilsondale in Wayne County.
Rahall said the consolidations and closures of postal facilities are already bad news, and the latest announcement of the USPS is not needed. “
“We must be loud and united in voicing our opposition to these potential closures if we want to have any chance of saving our post offices,” said Rahall.
Williamson Postmaster John Masters told the Daily News he has received no information about the reported consideration of closures.
Efforts to contact Debbie Zegger, Manager of Consumer Affairs for the Appalachian District, Charleston, was busy with phone calls during the afternoon and could not be reached for comment on Rahall’s report and comments.
The 85 retail post offices are among the roughly 3,700 nationwide – and the 150 in West Virginia – that the Postal Service announced Tuesday are being studied for closure.
“The Postal Service says it wants to replace some of our post offices with third-party retailers. That may work for some of our communities but not all of them, especially for communities that rely on their post office as a community gathering place and neighborhood hub.”
“Once a post office closes,” said Rahall, “it’s a crapshoot whether postal retail services can be maintained. I encourage every one to take advantage of the public comment and anticipation process to help ensure that retail postal services are maintained in our communities.”
Earlier this year, the Postal Service announced an Area Mail Processing (AMP) study for the Bluefield Processing and Distribution Center, as well as discontinuance studies for 18 post offices in southern West Virginia.
Rahall ha been active in opposing these closures and consolidations, meeting with the Postmaster General and organizing Members of the West Virginia and Virginia Congressional Delegations in opposition.