Rural Post Offices get Good News, Will Remain Open

Several area postal service offices will remain open, according to a new report from the Postmaster General.

Officials revealed Wednesday a new plan to keep thousands of rural post offices open but with shorter hours.

General Patrick Donahue announced the agency is leaning away from closing 3,700 low-revenue post offices and instead planning to whittle down staff and maintain part-time post office presence in rural areas, with access to retail lobbies and post office boxes.

That’s good news for communities in Iroquois, Ford and parts of Kankakee counties.  Several area towns, including Papineau, Iroquois, Thawville, Woodland and others hosted Town Hall meetings last year to protest the planned closings of rural facilities.

Residents of rural towns -- including many locally -- spoke loud and clear about plans to close their post offices, and the U.S. Postal Service listened.

The agency, responding to tremendous backlash from small towns across the county, announced Wednesday that it is shelving its plan to close thousands of offices, despite the decaying state of its finances.

Some area mayors and postal customers are expressing delight in the announcement. Woodland Mayor Russell Williams said he was dumbfounded and pleasantly surprised to hear the news.

Eleven local post offices had been identified by the U.S. Postal Service as being on the chopping block -- two in January 2011 and nine more in July. They included Buckingham, Campus, Claytonville, Goodwine, Iroquois, Papineau, Stockland, Thawville, Union Hill, Wellington and Woodland.


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