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Area post offices face possible closure
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The Lorraine Post Office customers have received notice that service will be suspended in Lorraine on Aug. 5 due to a lack of a qualified employee. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

LORRAINE — The United States Post Office is considering possibly closing 3,653 offices, branches and stations including central Kansas locations such as Alden, Belpre, Burdett, Garfield, Lorraine, Olmitz, Paradise, Pawnee Rock and Sylvia .

According to the Associated Press, some of those offices may be replaced by Village Post Offices and run out of grocery stores, libraries or government offices. Most of the offices that face review are in rural areas and have a low volume of business.

The postal service is also considering decreasing mail delivery to five days per week in all of its delivery areas as a cost cutting measure.

However, the Lorraine postal service customers received notice in a letter dated July 22 that the Lorraine Post Office will be suspended Friday, Aug. 5 due to a lack of qualified personnel. The letter said customers will be served by a rural carrier route out of Holyrood. Parcels and accountable mail that the rural carrier was unable to deliver will be picked up at the Holyrood Post Office.

Ray Geide, the only full-time office worker in Lorraine was shocked by the notice of closure. He had been hired by another company in Lorraine earlier this year, but has agreed to stay until the closure. He had expected his position to be filled

The Lorraine Post Office is open 8:15-12:30 p.m. and 1-3:45 p.m. Geide was not the only persion surpised. "The whole community was shocked," he said.

Businesses wonder about the effects in the community.

Larry Henne, president of Lorraine State Bank, said that the closure will create hardship on the bank. "We’ll probably receive mail later in the day," he said. Henne had concerns about receiving insured mail or that loan payments could come in late. Henne said he would even consider having a village post office in the bank.

"We’ll do all we can do to get them to reconsider," said Henne. However, "the bank will be fine." LSB has customers from three counties, he said.

The postal service had a community meeting on Wednesday evening to explain the changes.

"We hate it," said Donna Moyer, local resident. "We’re dreading the inconvenience."

However, she is philosophical about it. "You go on," she said. "You do what you have to do. We’re going to make lemonade."