Local Post Offices Face Closure

Postal Service financial problems could soon be felt right here in Texoma.  The agency is looking at shutting down post offices and nine in our Texas viewing area are on the chopping block.

Residents of Oklaunion were very shocked when they heard the news about a possible closure.  They say it is the only running business and closing the post office doors would shut off all communication.

It's more than just a place to send out mail, it's where locals gather, to chitchat and catch up with everybody's lives.

"The post office in Oklaunion is like a focal point," said resident James Griffin.  "We learn how people are doing, who's well, who's sick, who's out of town, so we can watch their homes.  We kind of meet over there."

A closure for Oklaunion would be devastating.   "If this one goes we have nothing left," said resident Jackie Morlan.

It's the concern of all residents, not just in this small town but others.  Nine area Texas post offices face closure.  From Kamay to Harrold to Oklaunion.  A cash strapped postal service is losing money and lots of it.  Last year they lost $8 billion dollars and in an announcement today
Patrick Donahoe Postmaster General and CEO admits that major adjustments are on the way.

"We are going to be making significant changes in the way our customers interact with the postal service.  Today is a very important step along that path," he said.

One in 10 outlets could be locked up for good and more than 3,600 are on a list for potential closure.  That's worrisome for Oklaunion resident James Griffin who says the elderly would be forced to travel to Vernon or get a home mailbox.

"A lot of people don't feel comfortable delivering them in their boxes outside their houses because they're afraid of their stuff being stolen.  They get their social security checks, retirement checks," he said.

The Texas area post offices that are on the list to be audited are: Benjamin, Bluegrove, Harrold, Jermyn, Kamay, Megargel, O'Brian, Oklaunion, and Ringgold.  The United States Postal Service operates more than 31,000 retail outlets across the country.  There is no specific date on when an official announcement of closings will happen.  For the list of the Texas study list click here.

Postmaster Donahoe says the post office takes no tax-payer money and is self-supported.  He also announced a village post office strategy that would partner with local businesses to sell stamps or flat rate boxes.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.