NOTI, Ore. -- The Noti Post Office has been listed for possible closure or consolidation by the United States Postal Service.
Postmaster Replacement Kat Tomlin said that she doesn't know much about how her office made the list.
“They keep a lot quiet, so that way there’s not a whole lot of worry,” Tomlin told KVAL News on Friday.
The Noti Post Office serves around 500 residents and six businesses around the unincorporated township of Noti, including 171 personal Post Office boxes.
“We’re just all hoping that they just don’t shut us down entirely,” Tomlin said, as she flipped through a handful of mail, dropping letters in their corresponding PO boxes. “It’s all we can hope for at this point.”
Tomlin recently posted a notice on the lobby message board for all to see — outlining the possible changes to come at the office.
She also said that survey letters were delivered to each Noti residence. On those surveys were four boxes, and a request to check one:
- Keep the office open with reduced hours and realigned window service hours
- Close the post office and provide roadside mailbox delivery
- Close the post office and contract the work out to a local business
- Relocate the P.O. boxes to a nearby post office and realign shortened window service hours.
The survey letter also asked Noti residents to write in which four-hour period of time during the day they would prefer the post office stay open.
Leontine Winters-Krohn said that choosing to keep the post office open was an easy decision for her. Krohn, the Noti Community Center president, said that the local post office is one of the main forms of communication for the town.
“People come in here and they talk about what’s going on,” said Krohn. “It’s the only public building that has remained in Noti.”
Krohn said Internet service in the unincorporated town is spotty at best, the newspaper does not deliver to residents and cable TV service is also limited.
Tomlin, seven months pregnant with her second child, is the primary bread winner for her family, but she said the worst part of possible cutbacks would not be financial.
“I think this has become, for me, such a group of friends,” said Tomlin. “I mean, it is the community out here.”
“It’s going to mean a big change, and people here like our little post office,” she said. “Nothing against the bigger post offices, but I just don’t have to stand in line here and everyone is friendly.”
The USPS reported that 677 post offices across the US have been listed for possible closure or consolidation, and $5.1 billion in losses were reported in 2011.
In Noti, Tomlin said the survey letters are due back at the post office by the middle of January. A public meeting to discuss the findings of the survey and talk about what is going to happen in at the post office will be held at the Noti Community Center on February 1st at 6 p.m.