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Oconto next on USPS chopping block

October 17, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service, in a notice posted in the Oconto Post Office and a form letter to customers, proposes to CLOSE the Oconto Post Office and offer Highway Contract Route Service under the administration of the Callaway Post Office.

This is the first step, required under law, that the Postal Service must take before closing a post office. This notice must be given 60 days before a final decision on the matter to allow time for local customers of the post office to evaluate the proposal and offer comments. This is a stipulation of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 and Title 39, U.S. Code, Section 404(b).

Postal officials are required to schedule a public meeting with customers of a post office proposed for closure. Locally, this meeting has been scheduled for October 25th, 2011 at 7:00pm at the Oconto Community Center. All customers of the Oconto Post Office should attend this meeting and voice their opposition to the proposed closing. Written comments also may be submitted to the local district office of the Postal Service, and directed to:

Rick Pivovar, District Manager, Central Plains PFC District, 5303 N. 91st Avenue, Omaha, NE 68134-9651 AND LeAnn Tvrdy, 6005 Lockheed Court, Omaha, NE 68119-9500

Local citizens served by the Oconto Post Office should seriously consider the consequences of the Postal Service’s proposal and be prepared to voice their concerns at the October 25th meeting. Only the citizens of the community may take action to prevent the closing of our post office and prevent services from being transferred to a contract community post office, postal station, Village Post Office and/or rural or cluster box delivery.

To preserve their post office as it now exists—a regular United States post office operated by career postal employees—local citizens must speak up now.

In addition to the 60-day period provided by law for customer’s comments, the law also provides appeal rights for local citizens if the final decision is in favor of a closing or consolidation. The appeal from local citizens must be in the hands of the Postal Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC, within 30 days after the Postal Service’s written determination for closing.

Local citizens should take notice that once the Oconto Post Office has been closed or contracted out, there is very little possibility of it ever returning to its present status.

A complete copy of the proposal to close the Oconto Post Office is available for public viewing at the Oconto Post Office. At this time, it is believed that Oconto and the 68860 zip code will remain part the customers address despite the potential closure of the Oconto Post Office. At the time the proposal was published, the Oconto post office was serving 79 P.O. Box customers and 100 delivery route customers.

A petition asking the postal service to preserve the Oconto Post Office will be circulating the community during the next several weeks. Anyone interested in signing the petition should contact: Linda Bomberger, Milrae Dittmar, Brett Eggleston, Sandy Eggleston, Penny Jeffrey, or Janet Kalinowski. Letters will also be sent to local, state and federal government representatives to ask for their help in saving the Oconto Post Office.

Informational packets will be mailed to all residents in the 68860 zip code. These packets will contain a survey and comment form to be returned directly to the USPS along with sample letters which can be mailed federal government representatives asking for their support in saving America’s rural post offices. All customers of the Oconto post office are urged to complete this forms and return them promptly to the address on the form.

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