Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We will lose more than a Post Office if Bishop Hill 61419 closes.

The pending Ross-Issa Postal Reform Act of 2011 before Congress will create two commissions – one to focus on post office closures, excesses, and unnecessary administrative offices, and the other to take charge of the USPS’ finances if it goes into default and take whatever measures are necessary to bring it back into the black. In anticipation of implementing this Act, the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service announced it will study closing 3,653 post offices, many in rural areas with populations under 300.

This statement is certain to trigger a battle with the targeted communities. In fact, the residents here in Bishop Hill have already held an organizational meeting to discuss the strategy for demanding  postal officials and legislators take a closer look at Bishop Hill and consider its unique and valuable assets beyond our local interests to that of its national and international significance.

As in any small town, our Post Office provides us with a social hub, a place to gather vital community news as we pick up our mail. What sets us apart is that our village is designated a National Landmark. Beyond serving its residents our Post Office also provides conveniences to more than a dozen dependent downtown businesses, two regional Museums, an Illinois State Historic Site and the Vasa National Archives. Bishop Hill’s postmark is prized by visitors from around the world and specially designed commemorative envelopes produced in partnership with the Bishop Hill Post Office have proven to be an effective marketing tool used to bring Bishop Hill to world prominence.
In international circles, Bishop Hill is held in such high regard that the Swedish Postal Authority included the artwork of Bishop Hill Artist, Olof Krans, on a set of commemorate stamps celebrating the 350th anniversary of  New Sweden 1838 - 1988.
It would be a loss to our struggling community to forfeit our post office but it would be a greater loss to our county, state, and nation. Our historic building is open to the public and serves as a silent reminder of the proud tradition that is rapidly being replaced by electronic communication. While it is necessary to close some, I believe a select few historically significant Post Offices deserve to remain open and intact. A link to the past is crucial in crafting a new postal policy.
CLICK HERE to track the bill as it moves through the Legislature.
If you agree that the Bishop Hill Post Office should remain open, please click on the names of the Postmaster General and these Illinois elected officials to voice your opinion. A letter would be a nice touch, but in this case, an email will be equally effective.

Mail has been delivered  in Bishop Hill since 1848