Marshall post office faces possible closure

06/25/2014

Not snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stops delivery of the mail, but the federal government can. The United States Postal Service’s comprehensive plan to reduce services and retail hours at small post offices across the country will come to Marshall next. The service will send surveys to zip code residents and post office box customers before July 1 and hold a meeting to gather input and answer questions at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22 at the Marshall Post Office, a notice said Thursday. The survey asks what should be done at the location: halve availability at the retail desk “based on actual office workload” to four hours a week or conduct a discontinuance study to close the office. If the Marshall location is closed, the service has suggested offering roadside mailbox delivery, contracting with a local business to offer stamps and flat-rate boxes or relocating box service at a nearby post office. (Tomales is more than seven miles up the winding Highway One, and Point Reyes Station to the south more than nine.) The darkening of post offices throughout West Marin follows changes that began in 2011 when same-day delivery for locally addressed mail ceased. Service has already been halved at Dillon Beach and Olema to four hours and is scheduled to be cut to six hours at Tomales, Lagunitas, San Geronimo and Nicasio after public meetings. The Marshall location has been manned by Chris Knowles since 2005; its chalkboard outside is often scrawled with dates of parties or news of birthdays and funerals. For a town that can seem overrun by kayaking, oyster-hungry tourists, the Marshall Post Office is the one institution (besides, perhaps, local’s night at Tony’s) where the residents of zip code 94940 regularly run into each other and gab, even if just for idle talk of the weather or traffic. The Postal Service won’t make a final decision about the office until after next month’s public meeting. — Christopher Peak