Rural Post Offices May Get Reprieve ... For Now

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Idaho's rural post offices will be protected, at least for a year, under new U.S. Senate amendments attached to a bill that temporarily stops the hemorrhaging of the U.S. Postal Service. The measure faces a final Senate vote today and, if successful, heads to the U.S. House for consideration.

The Postal Service is losing several billion dollars a year, in large part because of a continuing decline in first-class mail, most of which has shifted to web-based communication.

The Senate plan would halt multibillion-dollar prepayments into Postal Service employee retirement plans and gives the agency more freedom to adjust its services in order to cut costs or increase revenue. Other amendments expected to pass include halting the closure of rural post offices for one year and prohibit closure of any post office unless the nearest post office is within 10 miles.

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