521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Jacksonville Daily News: Brynn Marr Post Office to remain open
Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Brynn Marr Post Office on Huff Drive has been delivered from closure by the Senate, which is giving the beleaguered postal service a chance to keep routes going.
An extended moratorium on post office closures pushed in part by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., has saved the Jacksonville neighborhood post office - and 3,700 more across the country - from permanently shutting its doors.
Hagan told The Daily News on Wednesday that larger post offices nationwide would be shaving off business hours so the smaller offices can remain open.
The senator provided statistics that showed 25 percent of Americans don'tuse the Internet. She said for many of those folks the post service is a vital part of their lives. She said post offices are much more than a place to buy stamps for many people.
"Many people get their prescription drugs through mail, it really is a lifeline for many people a way to connect to the world," she said.
Several customers were in and out of the Brynn Marr post office during the lunch hour Wednesday. Midway Park resident Valarie Castillo uses the Brynn Marr branch to retrieve packages from her Marine husband while he is deployed. She said Wednesday that she likes the convenience the nearby post office affords.
Sharon Burke just moved into the neighborhood. She said she likes having the post office so close.
"I can'tmake it downtown during lunchtime," she said.
The Brynn Marr post office at 279 Huff Drive operates as a limited-service location serving as an annex to the larger Post Office located in downtown Jacksonville. The Huff Drive property is assessed at $951,360 with its owner paying $10,683 a year into the local tax coffers, according to the Onslow County Tax Office.
Letter carriers at the location said they couldn't speak officially, but said they were relieved their post office would see at least a couple more years of service.
The Senate aims to cut postal service costs through early retirement plans, which is expected to cutting down 20 percent of the 60,000 postal workers and saving $8 billion a year. Salaries will also be capped at $199,999 a year.
The USPS will look to change its business model to make it more competitive and lucrative. Some of those changes include moving smaller service centers into grocery and drug stores, office supply outlets, retail chains, and mall kiosks. More than 35 percent of the postal service'sbusiness already comes from such outlets and online at usps.com.
The Senate's postal reform plan staves off a plan by the postmaster general to eliminate Saturday delivery.
Mail reaches into every American community with 32,000 locations. That's more locations than Starbucks, McDonald's and Wal-Mart combined.
"Only the Postal Service - for the price of a stamp - will go that ‘last mile' to ensure delivery to out-of-the-way addresses, using burros in the Grand Canyon and snow shoes in Alaska," Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., recently said on the Senate floor. "And what federal agency could process some 6.7 million passport applications a year if the Postal Service was forced to stop?"
Detractors of the bill argue that the legislation doesn't provide long-term solutions for problems including an excess of facilities and lack of new business.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., offered an unsuccessful amendment that would have created a process similar to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission instituted by Congress to close military bases.
"If we don't do that, we'll be back in two years, absolutely," McCain told the Christian Science Monitor. "There's no objective observer who believes that this proposal addresses the issue fundamentally."