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Jul 26, 2011 11:52 PM by Shawn Kline

USPS looks at closing local offices

It seems every year the US Postal Service looks at closing some post offices.
This year, an $8-billion loss could shut down 3,700 post offices nationwide.
In Louisiana alone, 51 post offices could close, including two in New Orleans, two in Alexandria and one each in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles.

After 4:00, Avery Island closes to all outside visitors. Even the post office puts business on hold but that could come to a stop in the near future.

"We're losing $23-million a day." USPS Spokesman Earl Artis says, "with numbers like that, you need to find ways to save money and still provide service to customers."

That's why the postal service is evaluating thousands of offices including three right here in Acadiana: Lafayette, Chatagnier and Avery Island.

"Losing that post office on Avery Island, that'd be a heart breaker right there," Cleveland Latulas said of the possibility.

Latulas has lived just off the island his whole life. For him and many of his neighbors, the next nearest post office is 15-minutes down the road in New Iberia.

"That's the closest one." Clara Derouen says, "then it'd be so packed in town, it would just be all clustered up."

Longer lines at the counter and a longer drive but the mail-man says he's doing his best to compete with e-mails and other new mobile technologies.

On top of the possible closures, the postal service is also waiting on Congress.
A request to cut delivery to five days a week needs Washington's approval, but the postal service says it could save around $3-billion a year.



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