Congressmen opposed to Hamilton, Maybell post office closures

Community meetings slated for this week to discuss branch closings

Upcoming community meetings:

What: Hamilton Post Office Closing Community Meeting

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Hamilton Town Hall, 17436 S. Colorado Highway 13


What: Maybell Post Office Closing Community Meeting

Where: Maybell Elementary School, 30 Haynes Ave.

When: 6 p.m. Friday

— The meetings are open to the public.

Of 71 post offices slated for closure in Colorado, 61 are located in the predominately rural Third and Fourth U.S. Congressional Districts.

Included in those potential closings, which total 3,653 across the country, are post offices in Maybell and Hamilton.

In an effort to ensure rural Colorado post offices are not disproportionately targeted, Republican Reps. Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner issued a letter Oct. 5 to Postal Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Ruth Goldway.

Although the congressmen conceded the Postal Service must restructure to survive in today’s competitive environment, they urged Goldway to consider a bottom-up approach focused on “actual cost savings rather than an arbitrary revenue figure.”

“The potential effect of these closures should involve significant consideration of the individual or unique characteristics of the respective communities served,” the letter states. “If post office closures and consolidations are a necessary step in controlling costs, then we would like to see a more cost-effective model utilized, not one that focuses primarily on rural communities.”

Tipton and Gardner said their constituents worry about the potential adverse effects of post office closings on local businesses and that traveling to distant branches is not only costly and time-consuming, but dangerous.

“We are concerned that closing certain facilities will lead to costly and time-consuming commutes,” Tipton and Gardner said Friday in a joint news release. “Traveling to distant postal facilities in the Third and Fourth congressional districts during winter months could be extremely difficult, expensive and dangerous.

“Some post offices that appear to be in geographic proximity are in reality not readily accessible.”

Tipton and Gardner argue that post offices are essential to small, isolated communities.

Maybell resident Lois Stoffle agrees.

“We love our post office,” Stoffle said in a letter to the Craig Daily Press. “It’s a meeting place, a chance to say hello to neighbors we might otherwise not see for a while, and a chance to catch up on news and visit with our postmaster.”

Stoffle said the community is meeting with postal representatives and local elected officials to discuss the issue. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Friday at Maybell Elementary School, 30 Haynes Ave.

Hamilton residents are hosting a similar meeting at 6 p.m. today at Hamilton Town Hall, 17436 S. Colorado Highway 13.

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