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Meetings discuss possible post office closures

On Monday, Oct. 5 area residents will gather at the Waterloo Post Office to discuss its possible closing. Other affected post offices could include Rock Camp, Willow Wood, Haverhill and Scottown.

WATERLOO — A meeting at 7 p.m. Monday will allow area residents to have their say about the possible closing of one of five rural area post offices.

Representatives of the postal service are expected to explain why it may be necessary to discontinue service at the Waterloo Post Office. The meeting will be at the Waterloo Masonic Lodge on State Route 141.

Also on the list for possible closure: Willow Wood, Rock Camp, Haverhill and Scottown.

Retired Waterloo Postmaster Ardella Belville said the possible closing of the Waterloo office would be a hardship for many of her former customers.

Belville said she got a notice from the U.S.P.S. advising that if the Waterloo site closed, those needing postal service could drive 14.5 miles to the Pedro Post Office or 10 miles to the Patriot Post Office to conduct their business.

She said this may sound like an easy solution but in reality it is not when you consider rural Lawrence County’s terrain and it’s twisting, turning roadways.

“When you live at Waterloo and you travel these roads, the older I get the harder it is,” she said.

Belville said she is circulating a petition against the potential closure. Those who wish to sign it may call her at (740) 643-2916.

A public meeting about the potential closing of the Scottown Post Office will be 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Gibson Chapel on State Route 775 located diagonally from the post office.

Community Coordinator Linda Hollinger said federal officials don’t understand the necessities of the rural post office or they would not even be discussing closing some of them.

“I keep hearing people say, ‘well, you’ll just have to drive to the next closest post office,’ but a lot of people out here don’t drive, don’t have computers,” Hollinger said. “This is about much more than just going to get stamps and pick up the mail.” She echoed Belville’s sentiment that the terrain and the rural roadways hinder travel, especially in winter.

The meeting for Haverhill is Oct. 6. The Rock Camp and Willow Wood meetings were earlier this month.