Wyarno Residents Mull Options In Case of Post Office Closure

The Post Office of Wyarno, that shares a building with the town's restaurant and bar. It's one of 44 under review for closure by the United States Postal Service. (photo by Brad Estes)

Through the door there's a 3-foot by 10-foot or so walk-in area, complete with about 50 mailboxes on a wall that has a small service window. To the left there's a closet-sized corner for boxes and postage.

In size, the Wyarno post office isn't much more than a cramped hallway.

As for its value - it may be a little larger.

Wyarno is just one of 44 rural post offices in Wyoming that the United States Postal Service has listed as under review for closure in part of a national effort by the financially struggling organization to cut costs.

In Wyarno's case, if the office closes the proposed alternative would be clustered mail boxes on the side of the road. For any postal service beyond paper mail delivery, residents would have to travel to Sheridan.

At least one Wyarno resident doesn't think this, or closing rural offices in the first place, are good ideas.

Located along Highway 335, the post office shares a building with the town's only restaurant and bar. In the restaurant sits a petition which asks that in contrast to cluster boxes that mail be delivered to physical addresses in the case of post office closure. One hundred and two residents and non-residents who have passed through have signed, and they plan to send the petition to Sen. Mike Enzi.

Non tax-supported, the USPS has said that closures are aimed at increased efficiency. One alternative they've offered some communities are “village post offices”. These would use a community center of some type to allow a town to keep its zip code and would transfer postal service to the existing venue.

So far, Wyarno's only alternative would be the cluster boxes.

Lawmakers nationwide have criticized the USPS because this strategy tends to target poor, minorities and rural communities in areas of the country.

Other Sheridan area offices under review for closure include Arvada, Recluse, Leiter, Clearmont and Parkman.