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Oakwood concerned that post office could be at risk
City Manager Stan Brown to write letter to postmaster general
0523Oakwood
Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown is writing to the U.S. Postal Service regarding his concern about downsizing at the city’s small post office off Main Street. The Postal Service said it is consolidating services at post offices but Oakwood has not yet been affected. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The U.S. Postal Service’s financial woes have Oakwood city officials worried about operations at its small post office at the corner of Main Street and Old Oakwood Road.

City Manager Stan Brown said last week he plans, at the direction of Oakwood City Council, to write a letter to the postmaster general based in Washington, D.C., expressing “concerns about any downsizing at the Oakwood post office.”

Michael Miles, spokesman for the Postal Service’s Atlanta district, said the post office hasn’t been targeted, as far as he knew, even though such cuts haven’t been ruled out on a larger scale.

“What we’re looking at in various places around the country is moving some of our letter carriers from one facility to another,” Miles said. “Our list kind of changes every day ... certainly weekly, that’s for sure.”

He added, “We are looking at a couple dozen offices or so around the North Georgia area, where we are looking at making some of those consolidations.”

Meanwhile, money is tight on the federal level.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday that despite significant cost cutting, the Postal Service finds itself in dire financial straits.

“As things stand, we do not have the cash to make a $5.5 billion prepayment for future retiree health benefits due Sept. 30,” he told the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The Postal Service relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for its operations.

The topic of Postal Service operations in Oakwood has come up at recent council and Oakwood Planning Commission meetings.

Also, on another matter, Brown said he has been instructed to ask the agency in his letter — possibly going out this week — to see if it can help with longstanding confusion over ZIP codes and addresses in South Hall.

“We are concerned about how the ZIP code doesn’t adequately match up with our city limits,” he said. “We’re asking to see if there is any way to try to remedy that situation.

“We have Oakwood properties that have Flowery Branch and Gainesville addresses and, likewise, we have Gainesville properties that have Oakwood addresses. It’s just a combined mess.”

For example, Blackshear Place Baptist Church at the corner of Atlanta Highway and Mundy Mill Road is in Oakwood but has a Flowery Branch ZIP code.

And the Kroger grocery store off Winder Highway in Oakwood is one of two South Hall Kroger grocery stores that have Flowery Branch ZIP codes with neither of the stores in that city. The other Kroger is in Braselton.

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