Forks of Salmon Post Office Still on Chopping Block

Sandra Raymond, a post office official from Sacramento, says she is still continuing her part of the information gathering to decide whether to close the tiny Forks of Salmon post office. She said a recent congressional intervention in the closures only meant nothing would close before May 15, 2012. / Photo by Malcolm Terence.

Delays Provide More Time for Dialogue

By Malcolm Terence, Two Rivers Tribune Contributing Writer

The tiny Forks of Salmon Post Office is still on the budgetary chopping block. Even though congressmen leveraged a postponement of the closing of many post office facilities across the country a week ago, the investigation of which to close is still underway.

The actual closing has been postponed until at least mid-May 2012 for nearly 4000 post offices and other facilities across the country but the official who was gathering information to decide about Forks and other northern California sites is still proceeding with the evaluation process.

Sandra Raymond, the operations support specialist from Sacramento who hosted a Forks town hall meeting in mid-October, said the congressional announcement only meant no facility could be closed before the May 15 date.
She said she was still organizing all the public input and the next step would be the announcement of a proposal. Then, after a 60-day comment period, there would be a formal decision. Even after a formal decision, Raymond said, there is another 30-day period for additional input.

One piece of public input already submitted is a resolution from the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.

Sup. Marcia Armstrong, who authored the resolution wrote, “The next full service post office for people of the Salmon River area is nearly two hours away in Etna over a treacherous one-lane winding road. This crosses a 6,000-foot mountain pass that is covered with snow and sometimes closed during the winter. There is no mass transit, which would make it difficult for the poor and elderly  to access mail services at all.”

The supervisors also noted that the closure study had now recommended that the Callahan site stay open two or three days a week for full services and that this would be a better alternative for Forks than full closure.

Congressman Mike Thompson said the closures would force seniors “to wait longer for prescription drugs and Social Security checks, while isolating rural communities… Consolidating processing facilities would put the jobs of hundreds of hard working men, women and their families on the chopping block, and in this economy losing those jobs in our community is something we can’t afford.”

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