CRYSTAL LAKE - While Crystal Lake residents prepare to discuss the future of mail delivery in their city, a nearby community is providing perspective on how it feels to lose its post office.
Those in Goodell, population 139, are already adjusting to being a community without a post office after the closure of their building in September.
"The next thing we knew they told us we had two weeks before they closed and they got mailboxes up," said Dixie Revland, Goodell's city clerk and treasurer for the last 20 years.
Revland is also the city clerk for Meservey, another city with a threatened post office.
"Everything for the city of Goodell and Meservey is done out of my home," Revland said. She calculates the postage for mail deliveries in her head and stockpiled supplies to prepare for the closing of the office.
For Revland, closing the post office eliminated a place to post information for the community and "closes the door on everything."
The post office was Goodell's last business, except for services operated out of the home, she said.
"It really ruins the town," Revland said. "It shuts things down."
Ironically, it is more convenient, too, she said.
Goodell residents now receive their mail through rural delivery, with a mail carrier delivering to boxes located in groups along the town's streets.
Goodell resident Wayne Duvall agreed with the convenience of the new arrangement.
"It's better for me because I don't have to go so far to get my mail," he said.
The rural delivery sparks nostalgia for Duvall, who said mail carriers remind him of old-fashioned practices.
"We're reverting back to the old days when the mailman was the center of everything," he said. The postal worker is "a friend to almost everyone in town" and will even check on neighbors who are consistently not picking up their mail, Duvall said.
Both Revland and Duvall said they have not experienced lost or slow mail service with the new arrangement.
Revland and Duvall had advice for Crystal Lake residents as they anticipate their meeting next Monday.
Goodell had one meeting with Postal Service personnel six months before it closed, and Revland said the issue was decided before the meeting.
"If it's going to happen it's going to happen. Just make the best of it," she said. "I haven't seen anyone have a meeting and not have to close.:"
Revland still encouraged Crystal Lake residents to attend the meeting and speak up.
"Voice your opinion at the meeting. Tell them exactly how you feel," Revland said.
Duvall advised those in Crystal Lake to have an open mind.
"I thought it would be a bad deal," he said. "But don't knock it until you get it," Duvall said.
Caitlin Hamilton is a reporter for the Forest City Summit, which, like the Globe Gazette, is a Lee Enterprises newspaper.