Yet another Eastern Iowa post office may close - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Yet another Eastern Iowa post office may close

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A sign sits in a St. Donatus yard, alerting people of the evening's meeting A sign sits in a St. Donatus yard, alerting people of the evening's meeting
ST. DONATUS (KWWL) -

The community of St. Donatus met Wednesday night with officials from the US Postal Service to discuss the possible closure of the local post office.

It's a conversation taking place in communities throughout the US, and Wednesday, it happened in St. Donatus, just 14 miles south of Dubuque, along US Highway 52.

The proposal comes amidst months of financial woes for the Postal Service.

On Wednesday morning, folks in St. Donatus received documentation of the formal proposal to close the post office and establish a rural route service.

Windy Kalmes is a third-generation business owner in St. Donatus and isn't happy with the proposal.

"We have about 10 or 12 different businesses in town, you know, and they use the post office all the time," Kalmes said. "We probably spend $150 to $200 a month."

More than just inconveniencing local businesses, mayor Jim Roling said, "I guess when you lose your post office, your town loses somewhat of its identity."

The USPS said closing the office in St. Donatus would save an estimated $200,000 over the course of one decade.

Bruce Clark is the president of the American Postal Workers local Dubuque and for the state. He said closures mean lost jobs, which is a conflict with the APW contract.

"Yeah, there's a, basically, no lay-off clause in our contract," he said.

He said he blames the USPS's financial crunch on a requirement Congress implemented in 2006.

"The Postal Service has to fund all pre-retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, which means we're pre-funding the retirement of people who haven't been born yet - the health care retirement portion of it," he said.

If St. Donatus' post office closes, people who want to send packages will have to travel the 10 miles to La Motte or about 14 miles to Dubuque.

All throughout the US on Tuesday, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., local time, postal employees will be rallying to address the financial crisis facing the US Postal Service.

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