This article has b een modified from the way it originally appeared in the Star-Telegram and on Star-Telegram.com to correct the address of the facility that is being considered for closing.
The U.S. Postal Service mistakenly mailed notifications to more than 21,000 residents and business owners about a public meeting Friday to discuss the possible closure of the east Arlington post office.
Though the Postal Service is evaluating whether to close the location at 1828 E. Park Row Drive because of its declining workload, a date to gather public input has not been set, spokesman Sam Bolen said.
Stakeholders will receive another notice once a date is selected, possibly in early December or January, he said.
"That was a computer glitch," Bolen said. "We regret any inconvenience this may have caused anybody. We'll send them another letter or we'll put out some kind of notification when we set up another meeting."
The Arlington Police Department contacted the Postal Service after residents began calling to find out where the meeting would be. The letter did not provide an address, stating only that the meeting would be held at an Arlington police station.
Signs alerting residents that the meeting will not take place were posted at Arlington post offices and police stations.
Residents' mail worries gained steam this week after the Postal Service announced that it has lost $5.1 billion in the past year as the economy sputters and more people turn to the Internet or smartphones to correspond. According to the agency, annual mail volume has dropped by more than 43 billion pieces in five years and continues to decline.
Facing possible bankruptcy, the agency is considering measures such as postage increases and additional layoffs. It is also reviewing about 3,600 underused post offices for possible closure.
"We're looking at making some significant changes all across the country to better utilize our capacity," Bolen said.
In Arlington, the Postal Service is reviewing the east branch's workload and determining where else people could buy stamps or mail packages.
In Fort Worth, the Postal Service is considering consolidating operations handled by the Fort Worth Processing and Distribution Center and the North Texas Processing and Distribution Center in Coppell.
The agency is also looking at shifting some mail handled by the Dallas Processing and Distribution Center to the Fort Worth center. Under the proposal, Fort Worth would become more of a secondary processing facility, Bolen said.
Downtown Fort Worth
Postal Service officials also received panicked calls this week from Fort Worth residents who were under the impression that the downtown post office on West Lancaster Avenue was being considered for closure.
The Postal Service is actually studying whether to close the Central Finance Unit inside the Federal Building at 819 Taylor St., Bolen said. About 6,000 residents and business owners received notifications about that discontinuance feasibility study.
"We have no plans to close the downtown Fort Worth station on Lancaster," Bolen said.
Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578