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Three area post offices on list for potential closing

Post offices in Fort Ripley in Crow Wing County, Burtrum in Todd County and McGrath in Aitkin County are among 88 post offices in Minnesota being considered for closing by the U.S. Postal Service. 

The postal service said Tuesday it will study 3,653 local offices, branches and stations for possible closing. 

In a news release on its website, the Postal Service reported customer’s habits have made it clear they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.

More and more of them are choosing to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phone and at their shopping destinations, the Postal Service reported, meaning the need to maintain nearly 32,000 retail offices across the country has diminished.

In all about 3,700 retail offices will be studied to determine customer needs. As part of this study, the Postal Service is introducing a retail-replacement option — Village Post Offices — as an option for affected communities.

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.

“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,” U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a news release. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

Earlier, the post office placed 28 sites in Minnesota under review. Coming under review doesn’t necessarily mean an office will close.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)

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