ARY—Those living in the Ary and Rowdy communities of Perry County will now have more and possibly closer options when it comes to sending mail after a village post office opened at a local service station last week.
Campbell’s Service Station, located on Hwy. 476 in the Ary community, will now offer flat-rate package shipping, mail drop-off, and stamps to customers in the area who do not want to or do not have the time to travel to the post office, said Nick Walker, village post office coordinator with the United States Postal Service.
“It benefits the community with the mail collections, the availability of stamps and flat rate packages, and it also helps out the owners Sally and Shirley Campbell as far as increasing the foot traffic, and of course we’re looking forward to benefiting the postal service,” Walker said at the opening on Friday.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) started the village post office program a few years ago, Walker said, in order to help increase revenue in areas where the population may be more spread out making it harder for everyone in the community to reach a fully operational post office on a regular basis. The Krypton community of Perry County also has a village post office.
“We’re bleeding money right now,” Walker said of the USPS.
He explained that the USPS saves an enormous amount of money by opening village post offices instead of keeping full post offices open. Not only this, but the businesses that serve as village post offices benefit as well with a contract payment from the USPS for projected revenues from future stamp and package sales.
Walker said he and his department have opened around 55 village post offices in the last year and a half in Kentucky and southern Indiana, and though most of the time the owners of a store wanting to become a village post office will need to show interest in becoming one, this is not always the case.
“This one, I reached out to the community because this place needed it,” Walker said.
He explained that the Rowdy Post Office had been closed for a number of years already, leaving those in the community with only one option in the Ary Post Office, which had its hours recently reduced to four hours a day and was over four miles away for some customers just to send a package.
“We don’t have a huge postal presence in this area right now and anything we can do to help our customers out, we want to do it,” Walker added.
The village post office will work in conjunction with the service station’s normal hours of operation, Walker said, and a letter drop-off placed outside of the establishment will be open at all hours.
“We look forward to the partnership with Campbell’s Service Station with the postal service, we look forward to working with them, and we look forward to serving customers in a more expanded capacity,” he said.