Published On: Wed, Oct 5th, 2011

Belden is willing to fight to keep PO open

BELDEN — According to postal officials facilitating the discontinuation survey meeting, conducting meetings and surveying post offices for discontinuation are taking the United States Postal Service into a “new era.”
Last Wednesday, Dawn Bayer, Lincoln, Manager of Post Office Operations for the 686 and 687 zip codes, was on hand to conduct a meeting attended by about 60 Belden  area residents. The meeting is part of the process the USPS is going through to determine whether or not 3,700 Post Offices similar to Belden should be closed.
Bayer said the Belden P.O. is now on the clock.

The official notice was posted Sept. 9 and the official docket concerning the Belden P.O. will remain open for 60 days after that date.
After the 60 days, all of the information in the docket is sent to the Area Manager, then the District Manager and finally to the USPS headquarters in Washington D.C.
Adding information to the docket is the most important thing local residents can do to show the USPS that their office should remain open. Any and all information in support of the Belden Post Office can be added to the official docket by sending it to: Leann Tvrdy, District Discontinuance Coordinator, Central Plains PFC, 6005 Lockheed Court, Omaha, NE 68119-9500.
In D.C., a final decision on the fate of the Belden P.O. will be made. However, the village will have the opportunity to appeal the USPS’s decision within 30 days of their original ruling. Anyone can appeal the decision.
Once the USPS HQ receives the appeal, they will make a decision within 120 days about the fate of the Belden P.O. If the Belden P.O. is closed, the USPS will remove all of its equipment from the current location and shift to a rural carrier system for Belden.
The USPS would then deliver mail in town in a similar fashion to how they deliver mail out on their rural routes.
The only difference would be that multiple town boxes would be grouped together every few blocks to help the rural carrier save time. However, security issues, package handling, and conducting normal business with a postmaster were all concerns voiced by attendees.
Another option Belden could consider would be a Village Post Office, area residents were told.
With a Village P.O. a viable business in the community agrees to provide the space for a V.P.O. The business could choose to set up a mailbox system with a box rental fee, sell stamps and flat-rate boxes. However, the V.P.O would only be open during the host business’s operating hours and the rural carrier would be the person to fill the mailboxes.
The new era for the USPS has come about due to some development. Those include a good school system, a progressive bank, churches and a community-minded newspaper.
By reporting the daily life events of local people, newspapers serve an important function in community life. Small town papers can reflect, affirm and even help build a positive community atmosphere.
Instead of covering national and state news, the niche of small newspapers is to concentrate on local, personal and community events. In the process, they help local citizens define what it means to be a member of the local community
Coleridge residents recently read about their high school band’s upcoming New Year’s Day trip to perform in Dallas. They were introduced to Eric Depew who is a new teacher this year at the middle school.
Hartington citizens recently learned that a Main Street business was being renovated and the new Etched Impessions store was moving in. Local readers also learned about Collin Lecy and his courageous battle with illness.
Births, deaths, weddings and funerals are important news in a small town. Genealogists study the past issues of papers to find obituaries and stories that will help them to learn about their ancestors and the lives they led. The town’s history is shared in columns reviewing past news articles from their community.
Reporters cover city, school and county government, attend meetings and let the citizenry know what is happening in their elected governing bodies.
Sports fans get to find out the results of their high school’s team efforts.
Nebraska Press Association Sales Manager and former daily newspaper publisher Rob James summed up the role of the newspaper to its community this way. “Newspapers are the lifeblood of a community. When you enter and leave this world, it appears in the local newspaper. Newspapers keep us informed about things that should be important to us in both words and pictures. They are vital to our sense of community. Newspapers are here to stay.”
While most of the history of newspapers has seen it printed as a paper product, the future of the hometown newspaper is changing to keep up with the new advances in technology.
Most newpapers are working to keep up with those changes by making their presence known on the Internet. Whatever form the news takes, the newspaper industry’s focus is to remain a trusted, accurate source of the local news.

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