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Small post office in Careywood appealing closure

There may be hope for a small post office in North Idaho that is set to close at the end of March.
Some good news regarding the Careywood post office. A federal agency has accepted an appeal regarding the closure.

CAREYWOOD, Idaho -- There may be hope for a small post office in North Idaho that is set to close at the end of March.

The U.S. Postal Service decided to close the office in Careywood, Idaho, but now a federal agency that oversees the USPS has agreed to hear an appeal on that plan.

It is not clear how this affects the looming closure of the post office, but folk there said they are relieved and that it goes to show that someone is listening.

Like everyone else in the small community of Careywood, Marrion Banks has been getting her mail at the post office for more than two decades.

Her battle cry has been in tune with everyone else in the town.

"It's not just a post office, it's a community center," said Banks.

In February, the postal service notified the people that their mail would no longer be delivered to the location. The P.O. boxes would be moved about 10-miles away to Athol.

A USPS spokesman said they are closing the Careywood location due to plans to widen Highway 95 and an inability to reach a new contract with the postmaster there.

When Banks heard that, she sprung into action, sending a letter to the federal agency that oversees the Postal Service. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) said it has agreed to hear her appeal.

"It made me feel gratified that in fact our government is still listening to the citizens," said Banks.

In her appeal, Banks said that the closure of the post office will result in increased travel costs for people and that the location is already profitable to begin with. She also said people in the area were not given enough warning.

"I don't think they should be allowed to do that. That's not acceptable," said Banks.

What is not clear is how the appeal will affect the Careywood office in the short term. The location's last day is still set for March 31, but the PRC has 120 days to make a decision on the appeal.

Banks and others are holding out hope that the small post office might live to see another day.

"And if this post office closes, Careywood closes. And we're not going to let that happen without a fight," said Banks.

It is now up to the Postal Service to respond to the appeal. As for the PRC, they have until the end of June to make a decision.

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