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Luray Rallies To Save Its Post Office
By Mike Scott
Nearly fifty Luray residents crammed their way into Luray’s tiny Post Office on Thursday morning, March 24, to support keeping a Post Office in Luray.
“What a fantastic turnout,” said Vicki Gourley, Manager of Post Office Operation for the region as, she addressed the crowd. “You guys have a lot of passion, and that’s terrific.
Gourley has on hand to discuss the possible closure of the Luray Post Office.
“We have seen drastic changes in the past three years. We’re at a point where we have to look at ways to continue to provide universal mail delivery,” she said. “I want to emphasize that no decision has been made at this time. This is just a study.”
Gourley explained that the number of Post Offices in the United States has fallen from over 70,000 to around 30,000.
If the Luray Post Office were to be closed, residents would keep their current addresses, including town name and zip code. If they wanted to keep a Post Office box, they would have to travel to another city, such as Kahoka, nine miles away, or Wyaconda, seven miles away. The Luray School and Baptist Church would be impacted by such a move, because they don’t always pick up their mail daily, or have someone at the building every day to receive mail.
“We look at everything when we’re deciding,” said Gourley. We look at the town to see if it has a grocery store, a gas station or a bank. If not, you’re already going somewhere else to do business.”
A transaction study of the office has also been performed, but Luray Post Office supporters, such as Helen St. Clair, argue that since the office hours are 11:00am to 3:00pm, most Luray residents can’t use their local post office because they work out of town. Better hours would result in more transactions, she said.
“The hours are just not convenient for working people,” St. Clair said.
Gourley also explained that rural carriers can provide almost all the same services customers can receive at the Post Office, such as selling stamps, but opponents of the change countered that they would have to wait for the carrier to take advantage of that opportunity. They also expressed concerns that many people don’t want their mail left in a rural box.
At this time, Luray is the only Post Office in northeast Missouri being considered for closing.