house at Friendship Post Office despite NMLRA Shoot
I owe it to these people, this is a wonderful place to work,
Carol Iceberg, Friendship Postmaster told the Osgood Journal
after the community held an informative meeting with Postal Service
representatives Monday, September 12. The meeting was held at
the Friendship Fire Hall and was well attended despite the National
Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Shoot going on.
Andrew Glancey, operations manager for Area 3 for the United States
Postal Service (USPS) spoke with Friendship patrons about the
Friendship Post Office being one of 3,700 post offices being reviewed
for closure. Bob Redden, District Discontinuance Coordinator,
would normally be the representative at the meeting, but was on
vacation so Glancey took over for him.
A similar meeting was held in Pierceville in August for their
post office review, with both Glancey and Redden in attendance.
Also in attendance at this meeting was Ken Schutte from the USPS
marketing department. Schutte was documenting the meeting to put
information into the official docket that will eventually be sent
to Washington DC for review.
Keith Sieverding, a concerned Friendship community member, organized
the meeting after several patrons had asked him to help save the
post office. Sieverding told the crowd the meeting was a fact
finding mission saying he understood that this would be
very emotional for some of them and asked them to be respectful
of everyone in the room.
Sieverding introduced community members and small business owners
from Friendship that were attending the meeting.
Amy Thomas, executive director of the Ripley County Chamber of
Commerce, and daughter of Postmaster Iceberg, was introduced and
thanked everyone for attending the meting. I probably dont
have to tell you how much my mom loves her job, said Thomas.
Though losing her job would be a hardship, what worries
my mom the most is that this town will be losing its identity.
You are one village, one united community, and one Friendship.
Gary Stutler, county commissioner and Friendship small business
owner was also in attendance asking the USPS representatives to
listen to the people.
Branch Manager, Chairman of the Board and many employees from
the Friendship State Bank were also in attendance, along with
representatives of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association
(NMLRA) and a Friendship Village Association representative.
Barbara Levine, a National Championship Shoot jewelry vendor was
in attendance at the meeting. Levine has been coming to Friendship
every spring and fall for 29 years and using the post office.
Although Levine is from Arizona she has a P.O. Box in Friendship.
I love Friendship, explained Levine, Ive
even considered moving here.
The pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dewberry described the
Friendship Post Office as kind of like a visitors
center and a very vital part of the community.
Before Glancey started speaking, Sieverding presented him with
a petition of about seven and a half pages long of names from
Friendship residents, small business owners, etc., which were
unable to attend the meeting. The petition will be added to the
docket and taken into consideration for review.
Glancey emphasized to the crowd at the beginning of the meeting
and throughout the evening that this is just a study
and that no decision has been made, the post office is under review
for closure and this was an opportunity for the people of Friendship
to voice their opinion. Surveys were then passed out to
any of those in attendance that did not receive the survey that
was available at the post office or mailed out.
Everybody needs to fill out these surveys, said one
Friendship resident. If you have to brag a little, then
Glancey explained one reason for the reviews in Area 3, which
is the 451-and 470- zip code areas, is the overall decrease in
revenue. From the same period last year, revenue is down 34.2
percent, case volume (what carriers actually case) is down 14.6
percent and the customer service volume is down 13 percent. Basically,
according to Glancey, the postal service is experiencing significant
At the end of the month, the USPS will have capped the $15 billion
they have borrowed which is their budget. Glancey explained
that the USPS has had to prepay retirement and have a $5.5 billion
payment due at the end of the month - which they dont have.
By Congress, were enacted, we have to pay it,
The 3,700 post offices on the initial list to be reviewed are
not just post offices in small rural communities. Glancey explained
that there are many larger offices on the list, including offices
in Northern Kentucky. Centerville, Ohio, near Dayton, was an example
of a large post office that has been closed. Although the initial
list has some 3,700 post offices on the list, Glance explaind
that the next list would have approximately 15,000 post offices
on the list to go under the same review as the Friendship and
Pierceville Post offices.
Glancey shared some options available to the community if the
Friendship Post Office were to close, such as the new USPS app
available on most smart phones, Click and Ship, and Stamps by
Another option available is the Village Post Office, which would
operate as a store in town operated by someone in the community.
The Village Post Office would offer Forever stamps and priority
flat rate boxes. The Village Post Office does not have a postal
Before opening the meeting for questions, Glancey stressed again
that this is strictly a review.
Many patrons questioned the reason for reviews of possible post
office closures being solely revenue based. The bottom line
on this is its not solely revenue driven, said Glancey.
But at the end of the day, were a business...it comes
down to revenue.
The major factors that put this post office on the list
are reduction in work force and reduction in work volume coming
in, said Glancey.
Sieverding asked Glancey, What is necessary to stop this?
You, (Glancey and Schutte) as a representative team from the USPS
owe that to this community. To which Glancey answered, Unfortunately,
I dont have a solid answer for you. Sieverding continued
to pressure Glancey to give him an answer or names of people who
could answer the question for him, and made sure that his question
was entered into the docket that will be reviewed.
The Friendship Post Office building is rented through the Friendship
State Bank. The bank has offered to forego the rent and utilities
the post office is currently paying if USPS accepts their offer
and if the Friendship Post Office remains open.
So what is the next step in moving forward with this review process?
After the meeting, new information and survey results will be
added into the docket. The docket will then be sent to Washington
DC for review by a review board made up of postal service employees.
It will be at least a six month process if everything goes
as planned, said Glancey. The process began September 1
when the docket was placed in the Friendship Post Office.
Glancey urged the crowd to speak with their state representatives
about Five-Day Mail Delivery and their concerns about the post
office facing possible closure.
Representative Randy Frye can be contacted via email at email@example.com
or by calling 1-800-382-9841, visiting www.in.gov/h67 or mailing
to 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. You can also
call the State Information Center at 1-800-457-8283 or the Indiana
House at 1-800-382-9841.
He also explained that anyone can speak with Bob Redden, District
Discontinuance Coordinator, directly with questions concerning
the review for possible closure at 513-684-5454.
Keith Sieverding passes out surveys to
the crowd during the Friendship Post Office meeting on Monday,
September 12. The Friendship Fire Hall was packed with concerned
community members fighting for their post office.