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2/7/2013 Wetmore’s Postal Woes

The Wetmore Post Office may be the first Custer County postal facility to fall victim to the U.S. Postal Service’s current financial meltdown.

Postal officials will hold a public forum next Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Wetmore Community Building beginning at 5 p.m.

In January, the Postal Service sent surveys to postal patrons served by the Wetmore Post Office to seek input on possible options. Those included strictly home delivery; centralized but unmanned postal boxes; placing a postal facility in an existing commercial business under a contractual basis; or reducing the post office’s hours from full day to half day services.

The Wetmore Post Office, which was established in 1881, currently serves more than 200 patrons, approximately 115 of whom have post office boxes with the remainder receiving at-home delivery.

Based on a letter which accompanied the survey, it appears the most likely scenario will be to reduce post office hours to four hours per day.

The U.S. Postal Service’s financial woes are certainly in the public spotlight. Just yesterday, the Postal Service announced that it would be eliminating most Saturday deliveries. And just last week, the price to mail a first-class letter jumped a penny, to 46 cents. Still, it’s hard to imagine that these will have much impact on the Postal Service’s hemorrhaging of funds; during its most recent fiscal year the agency reported net losses of just under $16 billion, or nearly $44 million each and every day.

Next Wednesday’s meeting is open to the public. We suspect it won’t be the last of its kind for postal patrons in Westcliffe, Hillside and throughout the region.