Eighty South Dakota post offices on closure list

The United States Postal Service has announced a proposal to close about 3,700 post offices around the country.

Eighty of those are in South Dakota. One is the post office in Milesville. Howes and Hayes are also in this coverage area.

The Milesville postal service, established May 3, 1907, was originally located at the General Store of Jeremiah C. Miles. Other postmasters over the years include Henry Kertzman, Albert Harvey, Mrs. Harvey, Randall Collins and Allen Piroutek. The present postmaster, Gayla Piroutek, had held the post for 31 years.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said, "Today, more than 35 percent of the postal service's retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7. Our customer's habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business."

For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the postal service introduced the village post office as a potential replacement option. Village post offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.

"By working with third-party retailers, we're creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them," said Donahoe. "The village post office will offer another way for us to meet our customers' needs."

Concerning the proposed closures, Governor Dennis Daugaard said, "Although I understand the need for efficiency in the postal service, I am nervous about the impact this could have on these communities. I am particularly concerned about mail service being discontinued in county seats. The idea of 'village post offices' is promising, and I hope to learn more as the postal service continues its review."