March 17, 2014
The post office in Korbel, California (95550) was closed for an emergency suspension last week, apparently on one days’ notice to customers. The notice on the door is dated March 10, 2014; it says the post office will be closed as of March 11.
The reason given in the notice is simply “foundational and structural issues with the building.” Part of the structure seems to be settling a bit, as one can see from photos of the floor by the door and the flag pole out of alignment.
The Korbel post office was one of 3,650 post offices slated for closure in 2011 (under the Retail Access Optimization Initiative), but back in January 2013 it ended up having its hours reduced to four a day under POStPlan.
The lease was due to expire on February 20, 2014, but there’s no word that the lease termination had anything to do with the suspension. It’s even possible that the lease was renewed, but that’s not looking very likely at this point. In fact, it appears that this post office won’t be re-opening anytime soon, if ever. The carrier case and post office boxes have been moved to Blue Lake, which is a couple of miles away.
The annual rent on the Korbel post office is $4,200 a year, and it was staffed by a part-time worker earning about $12 an hour, for a total of about $16,000 a year including modest benefits and leave time. Closing the Korbel post office could thus save about $20,000 a year. But a permanent closure will require a discontinuance study, not merely an emergency suspension.
Korbel is a small town in Humboldt County in northern California. It's named after the Korbel brothers, founders of Korbel Wines, who built a sawmill and company town there back in 1881. It was originally called North Fork, but it was renamed Korbel with the arrival of the post office in 1891. In the upper left corner of the photo, you can see the historic Blue Lake Bridge over the Mad River.
December 2, 2013
The historic Courthouse post office on Main Street in Danville, Virginia, had its hours cut to four a day back in August. The Danville P.O. wasn't part of POStPlan, but apparently reducing hours at post offices isn't limited to the 13,000 facilities on the POStPlan list. Now the Danville post office is closing completely for an emergency suspension. The reason? Some paint, suspected of containing lead, was found in back rooms during a safety inspection. The post office is located in a building owned by the Postal Service, which also houses the US District Court and the US Marshal’s Office. No word yet if the whole building shut down or just the post office, and there's no indication the building is headed for sale. Read more.
October 31, 2013
The post office in Hobson, Texas, was closed for an emergency suspension because they couldn't find someone to operate it. The office is on the POStPlan list, and it was one of the first to have its hours reduced. Back on November 17, 2012, the hours were reduced to two a day. On Oct. 18, 2013, less than a year later, the office was closed because the Postal Service "was unable to hire a qualified person to operate the facility, leaving no alternative but to declare an emergency suspension of the office." Read more.
October 11, 2013
In June, the Postal Service temporarily closed the post office in Plant City, Florida, for an emergency suspension due to deterioration in the basement, discovered on a routine inspection. Now the Postal Service is doing a discontinuance review to close the post office permanently. The post office was built in 1935, and it has problems like a leaky roof and mold in the basement. The Postal Service doesn't want to spend $1.4 million to repair it, so it's going to sell the historic property instead. Read more.