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Closing Milesville Post Office? USPS/town meeting September 14

To discuss the plans to possibly close the Milesville Post Office, an meeting has been scheduled by United States Postal Service (USPS) officials. The open meeting is set for 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Milesville Hall.

USPS representatives will be present to discuss with community members the need for the Milesville Post Office. All persons who are concerned about the services provided by the Milesville Post Office are encouraged to attend. Patrons are encouraged to bring questions to the meeting.

The Milesville Post Office has been put on notice, though it is not necessarily closing. It is one of 3,653 post offices that are on a study list for possible closure. Most of these offices are in rural areas, and most of the offices on this list were selected because they are not generating at least $27,500 per year in postage sales.

The study process, projected to take at least 138 days, is to gather data about each post office. Postal officials will look at other reasons which create a need for a particular office to remain open. They will take photos of each office, look at how far a particular post office is from another post office, and consider other ways to meet the postal service needs in a community.

Surveys will be sent to all persons with a Milesville address. Patrons are to list why the Milesville Post Office is important and needed. Surveys will also be available at the Milesville Post Office for other interested persons to pick up and fill out. There are nearby families who don't have a Milesville address, but they do business at the Milesville Post Office because it is the closest post office, or the schedule is just more convenient. Any person who has input about the Milesville Post Office is encouraged to fill out a survey.

The Milesville Post Office was established May 3, 1907, with Jeremiah C. Miles as its first postmaster. He was the namesake for the town of Milesville. The current postmaster, Gayla Piroutek, has been postmaster for 31 years. Her father-in-law, Allen Piroutek, was postmaster for 21 years, from 1958 to 1979. Allen's father-in-law, William Henry Kertzman, was postmaster and general store owner from 1913 to 1945, for a total of 32 years.

The Milesville Post Office has been in four different locations: south of town, east of town, and both sides of main street. The enclosed front porch of the Piroutek home has been the post office since 1958.

There are 26 small post offices in the western half of South Dakota that are on the study list. They are Allen, Belvidere, Bullhead, Caputa, Enning, Fairburn, Herrick, Howes, Lantry, Little Eagle, Manderson, Meadow, Milesville, Norris, Okreek, Pringle, Redig, Reva, Ridgeview, St. Onge, Scenic, Vale, Wakpala, White Owl, Wood, and Wounded Knee. All will be holding community meetings in the next few weeks.