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Brimson, Taconite post offices could close

The Brimson and Taconite post offices are among approximately 3,700 nationwide the U.S. Postal Service will study "to determine customer needs."

The studies could lead to the closure of the offices by the Postal Service, which is losing billions of dollars as people use email, the Internet and other means to communicate. The Postal Service Tuesday released state-by-state lists of the post offices slated for study as part of the "next step in right-sizing its expansive retail network," according to a Postal Service news release.

"As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phones and at their favorite shopping destinations, the need for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain its nearly 32,000 retail offices ... diminishes," the news release said.

"Our customer's habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. "The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner and more competitive."

Three Duluth post offices are also on the study list: Civic Center, Lakeside, and West Duluth.

The Postal Service introduced the "Village Post Office" concept as a potential replacement option for communities whose post offices are closed. Village offices would be operated by local businesses and offer postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.