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It is illegal to close a post office for economic reasons.
Regardless of the argument that USPS officials are now using, it is illegal for the USPS to close a rural post office for economic reasons.
The argument put forth by Reginald Capers (USPS) at the town hall meeting to close the Ryland Post Office held on 5/17/2011 addressed part b of the law but avoided part a.
He stated clearly and numerous times that it was the overall economic situation of the USPS that was leading the USPS to close post offices. He stated that closing the Ryland Post Office would not be illegal because it was not being closed because of the Ryland Post Office’s budgetary performance. The reason it is being closed is because it is feasible to close it and the USPS can save the money that currently pays the Total Operating Expenses.
The USPS is currently taking steps to close over 2,000 post offices nationwide with the intention of appropriating this savings to cover their deficit and maintain the operations of the post offices that remain open.
When questioned about inconveniences and hardships this may cause the Ryland Post Office customers, Mr. Capers agreed that closing the Ryland Post Office would have a negative impact on its customers. However, he stated that this did not matter and would not be an issue because it was feasible to close the Ryland Post Office and the USPS is in such financial dire straits that they must do something.
To put this another way – The costs of maintaining the Postal Service are going to be apportioned in such a way as to impair the overall value of such service to the people of Ryland.
(b) The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.