(04/26/2012)
UPDATE - There is movement in Congress to delay the closing of America's rural post offices. A measure in the Senate would delay closings for one year, which the US Postal System continues efforts to restructure its massive debt.

The system is trying to implement a billion dollars worth of cost cutting.

The government, if such a delay is approved, will give the system a short term cash infusion.

ORIGINAL STORY - At least two Calhoun post offices are still on the block for closure, Orma and Millstone.

Residents have heard nothing about the closures since postal officials conducted a public meeting in the two communities last October.

At that time, a postal official indicated the closures would likely occur by May, 2012.

Union members, local business owners and public interest groups rallied yesterday in front of the federal Robert C. Byrd Courthouse in Charleston to protest legislation that some postal workers believe could "dismantle" the U.S. Postal Service.

Gary Zuckett, executive director of the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, said, "The US Senate is looking at legislation to cut out Saturdays, to close rural post offices and to eliminate 120,000 jobs.

"I think they are barking up the wrong tree. Congress created the problem by requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund retirement benefits for post office workers for the next 75 years," Zuckett said.

The Postal Service, Zuckett pointed out, is "the only federal agency required to pre-fund benefits for employees who haven't even been born yet."

Many of the agency's current financial problems, Zuckett believes, could be eliminated if Congress reversed that legislation.

"Congress needs to fix its own mistake. The Postal Service is not as broken as it appears. It should be allowed to use its current revenue to fund its current operations and not take billions of money out of its annual budgets to fund retiree benefits in the far-distant future," Zuckett said.

See related story CALHOUN POSTAL CUSTOMERS OPPOSE LOSING POST OFFICES - Orma-Millstone On Chopping Block


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