MINERVA — Residents of a small town in Northern Kentucky opposing a proposal to close their post office told postal officials their community's dignity is at stake.
Minerva residents packed into a church Wednesday night to meet with a representative from the U.S. Postal Service in an effort to persuade officials to keep the office open.
Terry Blevins told USPS representative Bob Redden that the post office is the community's "last bit of dignity" and closing it "would take away a sense of pride," according to The Ledger-Independent. The overflow crowd applauded loudly.
The community meeting was part of a review process to determine whether to close the post office there.
Redden said comments at the meeting would be added to other data about the post office and reviewed before it was sent to Washington, where a final decision will be made.
"It's good to be involved in your community and have your voice heard," Redden said. "This is a review; this is an information-gathering time — it's a nine- to 12-month process."
According to a letter residents received, the office is being reviewed for possible closing because service needs in the community have decreased and the building is in poor condition.
Although Redden cited various reasons why the post office could be closed, one of the main reasons is there's no longer a postmaster there. Former Postmaster Martha Moford retired in February.
Redden said his review would include a three-year trend in revenue and the traffic through the location.
Anthony Wenz, who argued against closing the office, asked how many people in attendance used it and would continue to use it if it stayed open. Everyone in the crowd raised their hands.
State Rep. Mike Denham (D-Maysville) also spoke in favor of keeping the office open. He pointed to 2010 Census data showing Minerva as a growth area of Mason County as a reason not to close the post office.
"These people, you not only take away identity, but you will create economic hardship now and in the future," Denham said.