Wing post office could close

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Wing Post Office could be the next in a series of office closings the U.S. Postal Service is implementing to save money.

Postal officials cite revenue declines due to growing technology associated with conducting postal business online as the reasoning behind the closures.

Wing residents are invited to a public input meeting on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at the fire department.

“The community input is important to the study,” said Debra Fetterly, spokesperson. “Public comment is recorded as part of the study, and along with postal documentation, is sent to the USPS headquarters for a final determination.”

Fetterly said there are 54 PO Boxes at the Wing location, and there are only 232 deliveries a year from the branch.

“If the Wing Post Office were to close, customers would go to the Andalusia Post Office, which is approximately 24 miles one way,” she said. “We also have options for some postal services and we encourage customers to visit our website.”

Typically, there are two criteria looked at by the Postal Service during their review of Alabama’s post offices. First, is the postmaster position vacant? Secondly, is there another local post office that can absorb the function and operation of the post office?

In the study, postal officials will look at how the closing would affect both the community and the employees of the facility, as well as determining if the closure would still provide the maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. They also will consider total savings.

Wing isn’t the first county post office to have a public input meeting in recent months. In July, a similar meeting was held in Gantt.

Nationwide, approximately 3,700 retail offices are being studied for closure – a move that would save approximately $200 million annually; however, Fetterly said no post office is in imminent danger of closing before December.

Fetterly said customers can visit, for dozens of postal resources.

“There are many other ways that our customers can purchase stamps (than going to the local post office),” she said. “There’s one stamp store that’s open 24 hours a day, and it’s only a few mouse clicks away.”