Jonesville post office takes on "David and Goliath" fight

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 9:48am

In a David and Goliath turn, an East Texas post office is fighting against the U.S. Postal Service's decision to close its doors. The Jonesville, Texas post office has served local residents since 1847. However, worsening money woes at the U.S.P.S. have put that branch on the chopping block, along with dozens of other rural post offices.

In December, Marty Vaughan received word that the post office would be closed. A seventh-generation resident, she and her sister, Leila, along with dozens of other town residents, formally filed a petition with over 500 signatures, spelling out the reasons the post office should reamin open. According to official paperwork, Jonesville's post office has seen a 67 percent increase in revenue since 2007. The U.S.P.S. estimates it will save about $28,000 annually by its closure, but residents point out that close to 100 people may choose to have rural service. That could cost the system an additional $10,000 a year, canceling out some of the estimated savings.

Jonesville residents also argue that not everyone who uses the post office got a chance to give their input. They say that's partly because not every resident has a post office box, and despite request for comment on official U.S.P.S. forms, only 43 of 111 questionnaires were returned.

Last week, Jonesville residents received word that the U.S.P.S Regulatory Commission had officially recommended the U.S.P.S review its decision to close the branch. That's not a sign the office won't close, but it's a step in the right direction, according to Marty Vaughan. "We're just hopeful that it will remain and the zip code 75659 will be around for another 160-something years," she said.

The U.S.P.S is expected to make its final decision sometime this year.

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