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Some area residents unhappy about possible post office closures

People who live in Brownsville and Big Pool like the convenience and service provided by the facilities

July 27, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS and CALEB CALHOUN | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Brownsville Post Office is one of two in Washington County that the U.S. Postal Service will study for potential closure.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

Some residents of Brownsville and Big Pool were unhappy Wednesday to learn that their post offices were among 3,700 retail outlets nationwide that the U.S. Postal Service will study for potential closure.

If closed, the offices could be replaced with an alternative model called a Village Post Office, in which a local business such as a pharmacy or grocery store would sell stamps and flat-rate packaging, and possibly even offer post office boxes, U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Freda Sauter said Wednesday.

Gary Shank, who lives in Big Pool, said he had gone to the post office there two to three times a week for more than 40 years.

"This post office has been here whenever we needed it," he said. "I'd just hate to see it close after it's been here all these years."

Shank, who previously lived in Indian Springs, said he had a relative who once lived down the street from the post office in Big Pool, and workers would walk mail to her in inclement weather.

"The workers here are great," he said. "There are a lot of retired people in this community, so it would be a real hardship if it closed."

Sauter said the review period will last 60 days.

"It's a study. No decision's been made," she said.

Before the final decisions are made, the Postal Service will hold public meetings in the affected communities to gather input from post office customers and give them an opportunity to ask questions, Sauter said. Those meetings have not yet been scheduled, she said.

Kendra Kyne has lived across the street from the Big Pool post office for five years.  

"The post office here has saved us a lot of trips somewhere else," she said. "If it closed, we would have to go into town and wait in line."

Kyne said the post office is very popular.

"A lot of people come and go here," she said. "The workers know who you are. I would really miss it if it weren't here."

Some residents in Brownsville said they use the post office for both incoming and outgoing mail.

"We don't know where we are going to get our mail," Carrie Ann Lincks said. "This post office was very convenient."

Bonnie Fraley shared Lincks' concern.

"I mail things and get my mail there, so I'd like to know how to get my mail if it closed down," she said. "To go to another post office, we're talking about having to drive 10 miles into Boonsboro."

If a post office is closed, the area would retain its ZIP code and mail delivery service would not be affected, Sauter said.

Fraley said she would hate to see the post office in Brownsville close.

"Good people work there, and it's walking distance from my house," she said. "I've been going there for 30 years, so it would be really sad to see it go."

However, Lincks said she is not surprised that it might close.

"(The post office) is too small, so I knew it would happen sooner or later," she said. "Everything changes for a reason, though, and time goes on."

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