Make us your home page

Hernando residents riled up over possible post office closures

Brooksville business owner Dan Patrick wasn't happy about the U.S. Postal Service's announcement Tuesday that the downtown post office on Fort Dade Avenue is one of two Hernando County branches that could face closure in the near future.

Also targeted is the tiny postal outpost in Istachatta, in the northeast corner of the county.

Patrick, who runs an insurance agency, said he stops in at the Brooksville branch every morning to check his post office box. He knows everyone working behind the counter, and they know him. Not having a downtown post office would be a blow to the city's business community.

"Every business I know uses it," Patrick said angrily. "Who knows where they'll make you have to go to get your mail?"

Many of the customers that showed up at the branch Wednesday had similar reactions, including Ronald Krna, who said he's been coming to the branch for 25 years.

"I like it because it's not as crowded as the post office on the (State Road 50) truck route (on Brooksville's southwest side)," Krna said. "I like being able to get in and out fast."

As more and more customers use the Internet to communicate, pay bills and buy stamps, however, the Postal Service says it has been forced to look at ways to consolidate its operations. Nationally, 3,700 branches are being studied for possible closure in an effort to trim costs and reduce a projected deficit this year of $8.3 billion.

"It's a trend we can't escape," said Postal Service spokeswoman Nancy Ross. "We're having to look for ways to save just like everybody."

The move away from brick and mortar operations in favor of "village post offices" in supermarkets and gas stations would save money and still provide basic services.

Among the criteria for determining which post offices made the study list were volume of mail handled, revenue generated and the proximity of other post offices.

Even small, one-person operations are being targeted. Earlier this year, the Postal Service closed its contract office in Masaryktown, which had been in operation since 1956.

Ross explained that the study would likely take several months to complete, and that no post offices would close before December. Just because a branch makes the list doesn't necessarily mean it's doomed, Ross said.

"A lot of factors go into the evaluation," she said. "Community input is a very important part of that."

Linda Moye, who recently moved to Nobleton, said not having a local branch in nearby Istachatta would be a huge inconvenience because she doesn't drive.

"I have to get a ride with a neighbor," she said. "I doubt they'd want to take me all the way into Brooksville."

City Council member Lara Bradburn said closing the downtown Brooksville branch, where about 20 people are employed, would be a slap in the city's face.

"It's in the middle of the county seat," she said. "Not only does it serve two very busy governmental entities, it serves the public who is served by those governments."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or

Hernando residents riled up over possible post office closures 07/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 8:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times


    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]