2011-08-09 / Front Page

Locals Weigh-In On The Possibility Of Post Offices Closing In Three Locations

Addresses Will Likely Change For Coal City, Bowling Green, Quincy
by Michael Stanley Staff Writer

The possibility of the United States Postal Service shutting down two Owen County post offices and a third serving Owen County residents has some citizens upset and others saying it’s just another sign of the changing times.

The Postal Service recently announced a study of 3,700 of its 32,000 post office locations across the country, with Quincy, Coal City and Bowling Green making the list. Offices included are low-activity locations with average daily sales of less than $50, low foot traffic and those that provide just two hours of work each day for employees.

In Bowling Green, the office has already routed mail to the Centerpoint location and has 321 Owen County homes. Bowling Green has a total of 623 addresses in Owen and Clay counties. However, without a post office, Bowling Green and the other two villages would also loose their current zip codes, causing a change of address.

The drive from Bowling Green to Centerpoint is the shortest drive for any of the three locations to a new post office, just 5.23 miles northwest.

“A lot of the people who live here can’t really get around too well. Right now, if you need to pick your mail up, you have to drive all the way to Centerpoint,” Bowling Green resident Catherine Walters said. “It’ll mean quite a bit.”

Her husband, Bob Walters, noted that if the USPS doesn’t close the Centerpoint location eventually, things may not be so bad.

“Our post office has been curtailed, but if they close Centerpoint and we have to go to Clay City or Brazil, that’s a 40-mile round trip,” he said. “Everything is so wasteful anymore, nobody wants to stop wasting they just want to curtail. For me and the wife, we have a car and are still healthy, so we can get around. For some people around here, it will be a chore.”

In Coal City, 545 of the 613 addresses reside in Owen County. Coal City has access to the northeast at Patricksburg, just 8.92 miles away. However, citizens in Coal City feel they are much more out of the way from viable alternative locations.

“We’ll either have to go to Patricksburg or Freedom,” resident Joe Miller explained. “It will cause a little bit of a problem, especially for the elderly who can’t get out like we can.”

For Coal City resident Ron Mitchell, he doesn’t feel a post office shut down would put much of a strain on the community.

“Other than the word ‘inconvenience,’ I can’t think of a thing,” Mitchell said. “You can put money in the mailbox and the mail carrier will deliver stamps. The only other thing is mail letters, and a drop box does the same thing. The only thing I use the post office for is for a registered letter or a box they can’t deliver. Clay City may be the closest one.”

However, for business owners Becky Parker and Ginger Schumar, their InterTec, Inc. pest control operation could suffer.

“Patricksburg wouldn’t be convenient for us because we live toward Worthington. We mail out stuff through our business daily,” Parker said. “When the bank went down to three days, that was a big hurt because Friday, Saturday and Monday are the only days you can go there. It’s going to put a big strain on everybody around here. A lot of people stay local; the older community doesn’t run out and go everywhere.”

The 329 addressed homes in Quincy have viable options, however, the two closest are outside of Owen County. Quincy residents could drive northwest to Cloverdale, just 8.25 miles away, or northeast to Eminence, 9.06 miles away. The closest Owen County location for Quincy would be to the southeast at Gosport, 8.85 miles away.

“Other than I’d have to drive about 10 miles every day, it’ll just be an inconvenience,” Wayne Merriman said. “I’m in the middle, between Eminence and Cloverdale. I pay all of my bills through the mail, so that’s a lot of mail. It might cause me to move... I say it might, I don’t know. I’ve lived here since 1973.”

Quincy resident Mike Branham doesn’t believe the potential closing would have much of an effect on his area.

“I think in our area, it’ll be minimal because that post office is not that busy. We only have one carrier and I think he would be delivering from Gosport or somewhere,” Branham said. “I’m not sure where the mail would come out of. I don’t think the actual closing will hurt very much. I’ve noticed the times I go over there, there isn’t anybody around, they don’t do any business there.”

However, for Jim and Jeanette Sharp, the closing would put a damper on their mail delivery, something the couple looks forward to each day.

“We don’t like it, but I think it’s just because we’ve lived here so long. My husband has been in Quincy for all of his life and I grew up in Cloverdale,” Jeanette explained. “I think we get about as much mail as anybody. I think we’re just sentimental. I hate Saturdays because I don’t get a (Spencer Evening World) newspaper. Of course, we’ve had our same driver for years. I don’t know if that would change or not. We’ve also thought about our address changing. We’ve been here for 45 years so we’re not real happy about that, either.”

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