The Bluegrove Post Office is one of approximately 3,700 across the country that could be boarded up next year as the U.S. Postal Service tries to remain solvent.
Bluegrove residents who receive mail through the post office have until Feb. 12 to submit a written opinion of the proposal, either against or in favor of closure. The 60-day period during which comments will be accepted began Dec. 12.
Ringgold’s post office also faces demise. Closures are scheduled for mid-May.
Residents who use the Bluegrove facility already find themselves in a unique position. Those who live in and around the community, and receive mail at home, are on a Henrietta mail route – zip code 76365 – while the Bluegrove Post Office has its own zip code, 76352. According to the USPS, the Bluegrove Post Office services 36 P.O. boxes or general delivery customers.
The closure is a part of cost cutting efforts by the USPS. The efforts include discontinuing service to 222 post offices in Texas, and shutting down some 252 mail processing centers nationwide, including the Hatton Road plant in Wichita Falls. The Hatton Road plant closed in May.
By closing the Bluegrove Post Office, the USPS estimates a savings of $220,327 over a period of 10 years.
The figure is a drop in the bucket compared to the net loss of $5.1 billion suffered by the USPS in fiscal year 2011. According to the PCC Insider, an online newsletter published by the postal service, year-end loss would have been approximately $10.6 billion had congress not postponed a mandated payment of $5.5 billion to pre-fund retiree health benefits.