People concerned about possible post office closure in Western Wisconsin

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GILMANTON, WI (WEAU)--Every day for 20 years, Doug Quarberg has stopped by the Gilmanton Post Office to check his PO Box.

"Seemed like the bad weather in the wintertime, the mailbox got knocked down by plows and snow," Quarberg said. "So it’s a convenience that we have learned to really enjoy having a post office box.”

But Quarberg is concerned that he may have to go to Mondovi to get his mail if the Gilmanton Post Office closes. Spokesman for the Postal Service Pete Nowacki says the organization is looking more closely at about 40 post offices in Wisconsin to see where costs can be cut.

"We'll take a look at a number of different things during this process, such as the proximity to other Postal Service offices," Nowacki said.

If the Gilmanton Post Office were to close, Nowacki says what’s called a, “Village Post Office” may be an option to continue similar service to the area. The Postal Service would likely partner with a local business or local government to provide stamps and boxes at a cost.

"So we'd have a number of our most popular services still available in a community but instead they would be offered through a private entity," Nowacki said.

Nowacki says they’ll survey people to see how often and in what ways they use the post office, but some people think it won’t do much.

"I'm sure it’ll get talked about at the next meeting," said Gilmanton Board Member Lorn Gunderson. "But I think it’s out of our hands. Uncle Sam is taking care of it now, I guess.”

Quarberg says, "If you’re losing money, you have to cut back somewheres, but we’d sure hate to lose this.”

Nowacki says within the coming months the Postal Service will survey people and have public input sessions in the small towns in which they’re considering closures. He says a decision to close particular post office likely won’t come until December or early next year.

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