August 6, 2009

USPS Emergency Suspension Closes Arbela Post Office

Neither rain, nor sleet, or snow is supposed to slow down the mail, but unsafe building conditions are impacting postal service in the Arbela area.

The Arbela Post Office was closed Thursday, July 30th under an Emergency Suspension according to Valerie L. Hughes, Corporate Communications officer for the United States Postal Service’s St. Louis office. The closure was made due to health and safety concerns within the post office building, which is leased by the USPS from a private owner.

The rural carrier and delivery operations for Arbela are being moved to the Wyaconda post office and the Arbela Postmaster, Kathy Anderson is serving as the Officer in Charge from the Rutledge post office.

While the opportunity to repair the Arbela office has not been ruled out, Hughes indicated the closure could be permanent.

“If the transition of these routes into the Wyaconda post office is feasible and works for the postal service and the patrons, it is likely they will look at closing the office permanently and continuing to deliver the Arbela mail from the Wyaconda office,” said Hughes.

The Arbela Post office delivered mail for one rural route that included 210 box holders. The office was open Monday through Friday for a regular eight-hour workday.

Hughes noted in the past that the USPS has been forced to close offices due to building issues. She added that a majority of post office facilities are leased from private owners as opposed to being owned by the USPS.

Roughly 30 to 35 patrons of the Arbela office met with postal officials in a public meeting held at the site Thursday evening, July 30th. The postal officials indicated the Arbela patrons would maintain their current mailing addresses and offered assurances that service would continue to the rural community.

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