VIRGINIA CITY – At their regular meeting Tuesday Madison County Commissioners met with members of the Virginia City community to discuss the future of the local post office, which faces a mandated reduction in hours of operation starting in September 2014.
The handful of people in attendance at the meeting emphasized the important role the post office plays in the county seat, where business that takes place in the courthouse relies heavily on sending and receiving important legal documents through the mail.
Currently the Virginia City post office is open eight hours a day, but next year that number will be reduced to four.
Kim Hudson is the local postmaster in Norris, and is filling in on detail assignment at the post office in Virginia City because nobody else is available. At Tuesday’s meeting with commissioners, which Hudson attended as a concerned citizen while off duty from the post office, he expressed his concerns about how the reduction in business hours will affect the community.
“I could see some offices like Norris dropped back to a six or a four, and that community could adjust to that even though there are that many businesses there,” Hudson explained. “But this is a county seat, and we have people coming in from the county offices all day long.”
“They have to have the availability of this office,” he added.
Commissioners agreed with Hudson’s concerns. Commissioner Dan Happel said that no matter what form communication may take electronically there will always be a need for a post office, especially in a rural setting like Madison County.
“It’s such an important job, and it has such an incredibly important role in our society,” said Happel. “That’s one of the few functions that our government is constitutionally mandated to do, provide a postal service.”
Commissioner Dave Schulz shared Happel’s insight into the invaluable service provided by the post office.
“The expediency and consistency and reliability of being able to do business is reasonably successful right now because of the postal service,” he said. “We’ve found over the last couple years that the postal service in many cases is more reliable than FedEx when things are on track.”