Post office offers assurances as Madisonville worries about branch closure

MADISONVILLE, LA (WVUE) - During the holidays, when post office branches are busier than ever, Madisonville residents are expressing concerns about the possible closure of theirs, and it's the talk of the town.

"After the storms they talked about closing it...I hope that doesn't happen...we need it," said Madisonville resident Lynn Bourque.

Madisonville residents worried about talk that their busy post office is closing, and and some of it is getting quite heated.

"This is another example of a good slice of America disappearing," said Pascal McGuey.

The town's mayor is now stepping in.

"All of our elected officials in Washington have been supportive," said Madisonville Mayor Jean Pelloat.

It appears change is coming to the Madisonville post office, a victim of it's own popularity due to a growing population and more people using the postal service for online commerce.

"It has become one of Louisiana's top 10 space constraint post offices," said Keith Accardo with the U.S. Postal Service.

Residents fear that if the post office were to close, they will be forced to use post offices in Mandeville or Covington - and that's a prospect no one relishes.

"Covington would be way far away and Mandeville - it takes too long to get there," said resident Dianne Long.

New neighborhoods seem to pop up every couple of months.

"I hear this end of the parish is the fastest growing in the parish, and we're the fastest growing parish in the state," said Mayor Pelloat.

Ten-minute drives to neighboring towns now take 25 minutes.

"Years ago, our biggest problem was cows crossing the street. It's changed tremendously," said Bourque.

In spite of the fears, the postal service says it will likely keep a Madisonville presence.

" We are exploring several options. One, finding a larger location or moving carrier routes to Mandeville," said Accardo.

And if that happens, they say they will keep selling stamps and taking  mail  in Madisonville.

"I'd be thrilled to pieces. That would be a good Christmas present," said Bourque.

But a decision isn't expected until early next year.

As for ongoing traffic concerns in the Madisonville area, the Tchefuncte River drawbridge is considered a big bottleneck. Town officials are now waiting on a recommendation from the  Coast Guard that could limit the bridge's opening to once instead of twice an hour.

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