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Fifty Lakes City Hall to house village post office

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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) accepted the city of Fifty Lakes' application for a village post office, which will be housed at the city hall building.

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Clerk treasurer Karen Stern will be trained by a representative from the Crosslake Post Office on postal operations.

Mayor Ken Hersey made this announcement at the city council's June 10 meeting, according to draft minutes.

The city has not had a post office since Jan. 17. USPS first reduced the location's hours in September 2013, and the building was officially closed to make way for County Road 3 reconstruction. The building, at the corner of County Roads 1 and 3, was burned down in February as part of a training burn for Fifty Lakes and other area fire departments.

Residents already have post office boxes at city hall; these were moved to the outside of the building following the post office building closure.

Village post offices are typically operated by businesses in rural communities, providing stamps and Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and packages. The locations may also include mailboxes, as Fifty Lakes City Hall does, according to USPS' website.

The concept was announced in July 2011 by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe as a cost-saving measure. At the time, 80 percent of all post offices in the country were not turning a profit, according to a July 2011 CBS News story.

Stern said signs have been ordered and the post office should be up and running by July 1, if not sooner.

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