Postal Service eyes thousands of post offices for privatization
July 26, 2011
• Would convert little-used locations
• More than 100 being studied in California
Tupman Post Office
Photo by David Jordan, 2007
Tiny Tupman, Calif., ZIP Code 93276, boasts 161 residents according to the 2010 Census and one post office, which has been in operation since 1921.
Now Tupman-ites, along with users of 120 other small post offices scattered across the state are faced with the possibility that the Postal Service could convert the local operation to a privately held “Village Post Office.”
“Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business,” says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Tuesday in announcing the plan that could shave millions of dollars of expenses from the money-bleeding service.
The Postal Service says more and more of its customers are conducting their “postal” business online, on smart phones and at shopping destinations.
“And that means the need for us to maintain nearly 32,000 retail offices has diminished,” Mr. Donahoe says.
He says that more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue now comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and its website, usps.com.
Approximately 3,700 post offices are under the microscope of the Postal Services bean counters to see if they justify being kept or farmed out to local businesses as a “Village Post Office.”
Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.
In California, 112 small post offices are being studied for closure including many in the historic gold rush country, others in remote parts of northern California plus some in major metropolitan areas.
Here are the post offices in the Central Valley being studied:
• Downtown Davis 95616
• Zamora 95698
• Ryde 95680
• Antelope post office in Citrus Heights 95621
• Helm 93627
• Big Creek 93605
• Posey 93260
• Yettem 93670
• Fellows 93224
• Tupman 93276
• East Bakersfield 93305
• Big Bar 96010
• Stirling City 95978
• Challenge 95925
Another of Valley interest is the post office at Yosemite Lodge in Yosemite National Park 95389.