The U.S. Postal Service held meetings last week in Pony and Norris to allow citizens the opportunity to comment about the proposal to close the post offices.
Now citizens have until the end of November to submit their comments in writing to the postal service, said Pete Nowacki, spokesman for the agency out of Minneapolis.
In Madison County, post offices in Norris, Pony and Melrose are all being reviewed. Post offices near the borders of the county under review include Cardwell and Willow Creek. In all, 93 post offices around Montana are undergoing the review process.
The proposal to close post offices or change they way they operate will save the USPS money in a time when their mail volume is down 20 percent, Nowacki said in an interview back in August.
The meeting in Norris and Pony were held last Wednesday. In Norris about 35 people attended, said Norris resident Ann Hokanson.
“Absolutely the feeling is that we don’t want to lose our post office,” Hokanson said.
Hokanson works at A.M. Welles Inc. in Norris. The company is one of about 40 who call the Norris Post Office home.
“In our office here we use the post office daily and not just to pick up the mail,” she said.
Ken Bates was the USPS spokesman who took comment at the meetings in Norris and Pony. Bates was unreachable for comment on Tuesday.
But Hokanson said Bates encouraged people to submit their comments in writing to the agency. Nowacki echoed that sentiment Tuesday.
“We kind of recommend that, because every one of those written comments becomes part of the public record,” Nowacki said. “The best thing for folks to do right now is keep that communication coming.”
Hokanson is also organizing a petition that will also be sent to the USPS, she said.
The next step in the process is the USPS will put out proposals for each post office on the review list.
“When the proposals come out, and I suspect that will be fairly soon, they’re posted for 60 days in those offices,” Nowacki said.
The agency will accept comment through Nov. 29 for folks at the Pony and Norris Post Offices. The deadline for comment on the Melrose Post Office is Nov. 17.
If the final decision is to close the post office, any customer at the post office slated to be closed has 30 days to file an appeal, he said.
Comments should be sent to Mary Anderson, U.S. Postal Service, PO Box 7500, Sioux Falls, S.D. 55117-7500.