'Well-kept secret' post office doors remain open - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

'Well-kept secret' post office doors remain open

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Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 5:30 pm

A decision to close a Surprise postal office near Dysart and Bell roads has been put on hold.

While the Dysart Road postal office will not shutter any time soon — if at all — the facility is one of several state post offices and nearly 3,700 nationwide being studied for possible closure, said Peter Hass, a state spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. The Indian School Station post office, 741 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, is also potentially on the chopping block.

No timetable has been set for a decision on either facility, and Hass said USPS officials study a number of factors to determine whether post offices remain operational, including:

• How much revenue they bring in.

• How many transactions are conducted.

• Their proximity to nearby post offices.

Hass said public meetings would take place in Surprise if the Dysart Road postal office were identified for closure.

Since the advent and proliferation of cell phones, email and social networks, the role of the post office has diminished, and postal officials concede that some consolidation makes sense.

The closure of rural and urban post offices, elimination of routes, shuttering distribution centers and dropping Saturday delivery altogether are some of the options on the table to save money.

“As mail volume declines, we obviously see a revenue decline as well,” Hass said.

Surprise resident Lloyd Clark, who received a notice by mail in July that the Dysart Road postal office could potentially close by November or December, said he can’t imagine going elsewhere to purchase stamps, pay his bills and send correspondence to family and friends.

Clark has been receiving mail at the facility for more than a quarter century through use of an individual post office box and said he’s relieved to find out it’s not closing anytime soon.

The 88-year-old Sun Village resident, who has spinal stenosis and uses a walker to get around, appreciates its ease of access for handicapped individuals who often have a hard time getting around elsewhere.

Vice Mayor Skip Hall invited Clark to speak Tuesday night in front of the City Council after discovering that the longtime postal office could shutter and force many residents to purchase stamps and mail letters at other facilities.

Prior to finding out the Dysart Road postal office wouldn’t be closing, Hall said he planned to have the City Council write letters to Rep. Trent Franks, Sen. John McCain and the U.S. postmaster general to explain the facility’s importance and why it shouldn’t close.

Hall explained that the post office is a city building that’s leased to the USPS for $1 annually.

“So, I can’t imagine that the post office isn’t profitable,” he said.

The vice mayor, who contends Saturday delivery could be stopped to save money, said many of his constituents have told him that the Dysart Road postal office is convenient.

“The more I talk to people, the more I find out people use the facility,” he said. “I was surprised. Someone said this morning, ‘It’s a well-kept secret.’”

In the end, Hall believes the postal office will remain operational.

“I think it’s going to be OK for now, but we need to keep our eye on it,” he said.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or zcolick@yourwestvalley.com.

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