Kurten Residents Frustrated After Post Office Abruptly Closes

By  | 
View Map

KURTEN, Texas - Kurten residents are frustrated after their Post Office was closed down without warning last week.

The U.S. Postal Service says the building has flood damage from spring rains and is not safe for employees or customers to be inside.

News 3 looks at where customers have to go now and why this isn't the community's first fight against the federal government.

There's still a a big blue mailbox but the Kurten Post Office is no longer open for business.

The Postal Service closed it down last week after an inspection found flood damage inside.

Regina McDonald is one of 200 P.O. Box holders that's now without a local place to receive mail.

Instead her box is now 12 miles away at the North Zulch Post Office.

"Everytime it rains we have water in the Post Office that basically sits there until we pump it out and so that causes mold what do you think happens?... This issue's been going on a long time but nobody's cared about it until last week," McDonald said.

As of right now there are no plans to reopen a post office here. Postal officials tell News 3 they realize it's an inconvenience for residents.

"It's our opinion that safety comes first when it comes to our employees and our customers," said McKinney Boyd, with United States Postal Service Corporate Communications.

In 2009, Congressman Chet Edwards helped keep the office open amid budget cuts after lots of pushback from residents.

Kurten Mayor Ronnie Vitulli says a Post Office has been an important part of the community since the 1890's.

"One of the things that I'm having issues with is the contradiction you hear from one group versus another is it closing down permanently, is it not, so the last thing I heard was it's not closing down permanently as long as the facility is repaired," said Vitulli.

"The post office all of our lives has told us to rely on them, they would take care of us, we could trust them. They're not taking care of us really well so you know it's just a bad situation," said McDonald.

Regina McDonald will now decide whether to have a P.O. Box in North Zulch or Bryan, while the company she works for Larry West Repair Service plans to install a mailbox.

It's unclear what kind of repairs would be needed by the landlord to make the building safe for use again.