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Village Post Office comes to Una store

May 28, 2014


UNA — Residents in Una no longer have to make the half hour drive to West Point or Aberdeen for their postal service needs.
Mississippi’s first Village Post Office (VPO), located inside Knox Grocery in Una, opened for business last Thursday.
A VPO is affiliated with USPS, but is operated out of a private business so USPS doesn’t have to pay for a building or workers. The VPO consists a shelf inside the business that offers flat-rate boxes and stamps, as well as a drop off point for customers to mail their packages.
Knox Grocery Owner Barry Smitherman said the VPO came about due to cost cutting from the U.S. Postal Service due to a decline in revenue caused by more people opting to use email and electronic billing.
The post office in Prairie serves Una, and about a year ago that branch decreased its operations to four hours a day, according to Smitherman.
“We had a town hall meeting and a representative from USPS told us they were fighting an economic battle, and it was hard to keep the Prairie Post Office running eight hours a day,” Smitherman said. “At that meeting they had brochures for VPOs, and told us anyone that wanted to start one could contact them.”

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Smitherman said he had to go through an application process, which took about a year. A representative from USPS met with Smitherman and reviewed the terms with him, as the store was required to have space and easy access for the VPO.

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