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Residents Of Ward Fights To Save Historic Post Office

WARD, Colo. (CBS4) - The U.S. Postal Service has proposed ending Saturday delivery, cutting thousands more jobs and closing branches. One of those on the chopping block is a nearly 150-year-old post office in the town of Ward in western Boulder County and the community is fighting to save it.

Ward's local historian Patty Cither says the post office there opened in 1863 and is the oldest continuously operating post office in the mountains of Boulder County. She says shutting it down will create a big problem for people who rely on post office boxes.

On Tuesday afternoon the town held a community meeting and a recreation of how the mail was delivered in the 1800s.

"It's a historical gem," Cither said.

The post office has become a staple of the town.

"It's the community center. You see people come and go," Cither said.

Ward resident Ann Jillis pointed out a bulletin board in the post office to CBS4's Dominic Garcia.

"Here you can see all the community happenings people post, things for sale," Jillis said.

Ward Post Office
The Ward Post Office (credit: CBS)

But unlike the days of old less people are using the post office and there are severe budget cuts. The community meeting was to let residents know their post office might close.

"It's something we don't want to do," USPS spokesman Al DeSarro said.

USPS says they've restructured over the past few years to cut billions, but it's not enough. It's looking at closing over 4,000, mostly small-town offices, around the country.

"There's a good chance that the majority of those post offices are going to close. It's just the financial reality," DeSarro said.

"I don't know what we would do without this. Where would we meet? Where would we have these posters?" Jillis said.

For the people with P.O. boxes Nederland might be the next closest option.

"We'd have to drive 30 miles, round-trip, over the Peak To Peak Highway," Cither said. "In the wintertime, that is just horrendous."

The future is unclear.

"So we love our post office," Jillis said.

In an effort to save the post office residents have written letters, gotten signatures, and gotten lawmakers involved. But it's going to take a few months to find out if, in fact, it will be closed.

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