LAURIE, Mo. — City officials are trying to bring back a post office to Laurie, but a local postmaster says it might be a lost cause.
The United States Postal Service closed the Laurie Contract Postal Unit on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and all post office box mail for the city was moved to the Gravois Mills post office, eight miles away.
“The impact is unjust and unfair,” Alderman Jeff Chorpening said, in the Tuesday, Feb. 14 board meeting. The city has sent letters to state and federal representatives and senators asking for assistance in reopening the unit. As of the Tuesday meeting, they had not heard anything back from elected officials.
“As a business owner, I had my mail forwarded to my home mail box and I have not received any mail for two weeks,” Chorpening reported. Aldermen Herb Keck and Karen Dobbins said they would continue to keep the pressure on and call more officials to see what could be done.
Laurie has had a contract postal unit (CPU) since 1961.
A CPU is a supplier-leased site operated by the supplier, under contract with the USPS. Bryant’s Osage Outdoors had hosted the postal unit for five years, but elected not to renew their contract in 2017, due to being unable to renegotiate a raise in the percentage they were paid to operate the unit.
“We were losing money and we were not going to continue to compensate the USPS,” owner James Bryant said. “The percentage was not enough to pay the insurance, utilities and employees.”
According to Gravois Mills Postmaster Pam Payne, nothing can be done. “A moratorium was placed on CPU’s in July 2016,” Payne said. “It was accepted by Congress and we are a federal entity. This means no ‘new’ contracts can be approved.”