Sheldon, Iowa — The moratorium on post office closings ends May 15th. That date means different things to different post offices in northwest Iowa. Northwest Iowa Development, a six-county economic development marketing region, has just completed an impact analysis on eleven proposed post office closures in their region. Osceola County Economic Development Director Kirk Grau has been spearheading the impact analysis and has been following the situations of the different offices very closely. He says that on May 15th, when the moratorium on post office closures is over, these post offices will again be considered for closure:
The Ashton Post Office is in much the same boat, except that the case of the Ashton post office is getting a reprieve because the Postal Regulatory Commission remanded it to the US Postal Service for further consideration
According to Grau, it would basically take a miracle by May 15 to save the post offices in Alvord and Harris.
The USPS is proposing to close approximately 3,700 post offices across the United States and Iowa has more than 170 being considered for closure. That’s about 20 percent of Iowa’s Post Offices on the consideration list.
The consulting firm, Smart Solutions Group of West Des Moines completed the analysis. As the economic development professionals presented their analysis to representatives from Senator Tom Harkin’s office, Senator Chuck Grassley’s Office, and Congressman Steve King’s Office, on Friday, it became clear that the priorities of the people in the small towns were not the same as those of the people considering post offices for closing. The postal service is concerned with their own bottom line. Communities are concerned with growth and in some cases the very survival of their town, says Grau.[audio:http://www.kiwaradio.com/files/Grau1.mp3|titles=Grau1]
The Northwest Iowa Development impact study quantifies community impact and indicates that these rural post office closings are costing the region’s populations and businesses far more money than what is being stated in Postal Regulatory Commission-reported governmental savings that would come by closing post offices. Research indicates that the postal closings and consequent projected savings are not well thought out, calculated inaccurately and that these post office closings have a direct adverse impact on the region and its ability to survive and prosper, according to the study.
We’ll have more on the analysis and comments from the representatives of the congressional delegation on future newscasts on KWIA.