Douglas residents will get a chance to provide information to the U.S. Postal Service which might help them save the Douglas Post Office.
The U.S. Postal Service confirmed to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich this week that Douglas is one of at least five Alaska Post Offices that it is still considering closing.
The U.S. Postal Service had originally said it was considering closing as many as 36 Alaska post offices, including Douglas, as a cost savings measure. Since then, 25 post offices that are off the road system have been removed from the closure consideration list, said Julie Hasquet, Begich’s press secretary.
Still on the list evidently are Douglas and four other post offices, and customers of those facilities are getting surveys looking for information about their use of the offices.
Among the questions being asked are how many times per day, week or month they mail letters, buy stamps, drop off packages, and perform a host of other transactions.
The surveys recognize the fact facilities such as the Douglas Post Office have a larger role in their communities than simply handling mail. It also asks questions about use of the post offices for school bus stops, community gathering places or for services such as passport applications.
It also asks about alternative methods of obtaining postal services, such as online, stamps by mail or using different postal facilities close to work or shopping.
And the survey also recognizes that at least some postal customers may have no other way to get to a post office. It asks if the customers has a means of transportation to get to another post office. It also asks whether customers also use local businesses near the post offices.
The surveys will be accepted until Sept. 8.
Others facilities where customers are getting the surveys include three military base post offices and the downtown Anchorage Postal Store.
The surveys come, as might be expected, with a pre-paid envelope.
• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.