Four Tarrant post offices on list for possible closure
07/26/2011 11:38 PM
07/27/2011 10:21 AM
More than 200 Texas post offices, including four in Tarrant County, are on the U.S. Postal Service's list that was released Tuesday for possible closure.
Three branches in Fort Worth and one in Arlington are among about 3,700 that the Postal Service may shutter due in large part to shifting demand and falling revenue. The Postal Service does not receive any taxpayer funding.
Local branches on the list include the Central Fort Worth branch in the Federal Building downtown, the Polytechnic office on East Rosedale Avenue and the Stockyards office on Ellis Avenue. The East Arlington branch on East Park Row Drive also made the list.
Most of the post offices that face review are in rural areas. Texas appeared to have more offices on the list than any other state. Illinois and Pennsylvania had nearly as many locations on the list.
The Postal Service operates more than 31,000 local offices, branches and stations, down from 38,000 a decade ago. It has been struggling to cope with the loss of first-class mail to the Internet at the same time that advertising mail has declined because of the struggling economy.
"Our customers' 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 in a statement.
The Postal Service said some offices may be replaced by so-called village post offices run out of a local business or city halls.
City Councilman Sal Espino, who represents Fort Worth's north side, described the Stockyards post office as "a popular institution" in his district.
"Like many citizens and residents in north Fort Worth, I am deeply concerned about the potential for closure of this post office," Espino said.
Terry Meza, an attorney and community volunteer, said it's not uncommon for the post office that serves her east Arlington neighborhood to have long lines.
"It's always heavily used by the minority community it serves," said Meza, who said she also regularly sees customers shipping packages to relatives overseas. "If the residents have to go somewhere else, I hope other locations will have postal clerks who will be able to meet their unique needs."
Cassandra Norris of Fort Worth, who frequents the post office on East Rosedale Avenue, said she hopes it doesn't close as it's the nearest one to her home.
"I'd hate it. I guess I'd have to go to Meadowbrook," she said.
Coming under review doesn't necessarily mean an office will close.
The Postal Service announced in January that it was reviewing 1,400 offices for closure. Since then 280 have been closed. Once an office is selected for review, people served by that office have 60 days to file comments and, if an office is to be closed, they can appeal to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.
In addition to closing offices, the Postal Service has sharply reduced its staff over the last several years and cut billions from its costs. It has also asked Congress to allow it to reduce delivery to five days a week and to ease the requirement for an annual $5.5 billion payment to fund future retiree health benefits.
The full list of post offices that may be closed is here.
Staff writers Susan Schrock and Anna Tinsley contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press.
Aman Batheja, 817-390-7695
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