No Love For West Texas, State or Federal

The Midland Reporter Telegram reports that funding for new highway projects in West Texas will be non-existent for the next three years, and that per capita transportation spending for our region ranks next to last (only the Wichita Falls region ranks lower). And adding insult to injury, most of the post offices on the list for closing this year also fall in West Texas.

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, the USPS has begun the process of closing 491 branches (and is reviewing the continued viability of 2,000 more). Of the nine Texas branches slated for closing, five are in West Texas:

  • Notrees
  • Toyahvale
  • Cee Vee (60 miles east of Plainview)
  • Silver (20 miles south of Colorado City)
  • Alanreed (50 miles east of Amarillo)
Now, by most measures, these branches are located in the very definition of "the middle of nowhere." (How many of you have ever heard of Cee Vee or Alanreed? I hadn't.), and none of them have robust populations. But closing the local post office is bound to be a blow to civic pride (the Toyahvale website boasts that its post office has been in operation since 1891), as well as posing an actual hardship for the residents. I suspect that for many of these small communities, the post office is closest thing to a central gathering area, a social and cultural focal point where rural neighbors can stay in touch with one another.

I suppose the citizens of Toyahvale will make the five minute drive to Balmorhea for their Forever Stamps, and those living around Notrees will probably use the post office in Goldsmith.

It's hard to argue with the economic justification for these actions, but it feels like an old and familiar way of life is being lost to a death by a thousand cuts.


Another piece of America's gone.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric published on January 25, 2011 9:45 AM.

Remembering LaLanne and "Trimnastics" was the previous entry in this blog.

Restoring the historical archives is the next entry in this blog.

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