About four dozen people rallied recently to support keeping a post office open in the tiny town of Lake George north of Itasca State Park. It’s a scene that’s being played out in small towns across the country as the U.S. Postal Service seeks to close facilities that are too expensive to operate.
Last year the Lake George Post Office had annual expenses of $88,378, but revenues of only $25,500, showing a net loss of nearly $63,000, according to a report in the Park Rapids Enterprise. Post office officials say closing the facility would save more than half a million dollars over the next decade.
The postal service lost $8.5 billion last year. The agency is considering closing thousands of post offices across the country. In Minnesota. 88 post offices, including Lake George, made the list of facilities that could either close or shrink into smaller operations that could be moved.
Lake George’s post office is housed in a log building and has about 100 occupied post boxes. The facility has served the region since 1936. If the post office closes, customers could still get their mail delivered directly to their homes.
Some supporters who showed up for a town meeting worry about losing historical significance and a sense of identity if the post office were to close. Others are concerned about the possible loss of convenience and service.
Postal officials say no final decision will be made on post office closings until early next year.
For more on the postal service’s plan to close post offices in Minnesota, listen to Mark Steil’s report Friday on Morning Edition.