Fenton, Moss Bluff post offices targeted for closure study

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The U.S. Postal Service could close more than 3,600 post offices across the country, including several in Southwest Louisiana, in an effort to avoid a serious financial crisis.

Over the coming months, a committee will study the post offices named to the list before deciding which ones to close.

Post offices in Southwest Louisiana being targeted include: Moss Bluff, Fenton, LeBlanc in Allen Parish and Mittie in Beauregard Parish.

The post offices were selected because they either had a low volume of traffic, low sales or were located within a few miles of another post office.

It's the latest plan to save the struggling government enterprise, which lost $8.5 billion last year, as the number of Americans who send mail the old-fashioned way continues to dwindle.

"As we see that volume drop, we have to do things differently," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

In Fenton, news that the village's post office could be on the chopping block left many with questions.

"How are we going to get our mail?" asked Fenton resident Chelsea Alfred.

Alfred said closing Fenton's post office would be a bad idea.

"I know the elderly are going to be shocked for sure," said Alfred. "I know some of them don't get around, but I think a lot of them will be shocked because I was shocked. I was surprised."

But the Postal Service said citizens like Alfred have no reason to worry.

If any of the post offices on the list were to close, they would be replaced by "Village Post Offices." That means pharmacies, grocery stores and other retailers would sell stamps, packaging and provide other traditional postal services.

"Customers will be able to pick-up their post office box at these locations. They'll be able to deposit mail in our blue collection cans. They'll retain their zip code and community identity. They'll be able to purchase stamps and mail packages through our flat-rate products at these locations," said Dean Granholm, Vice-President of Delivery and Post Office Operations.

Citizens have 60 days to voice their opinions to their congressional representatives before the committee decides which post offices to close.

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