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Still time to stop closure of Cherrybell postal center

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Guest opinion

Still time to stop closure of Cherrybell postal center

I want to thank the 600 people who attended the Dec. 28 public meeting about the potential closure of the Cherrybell Post Office processing and distribution center.

This meeting was scheduled by the United States Postal Service (USPS) at this date and time during the holidays.

Despite requests from both Congresswoman Giffords and Congressman Grijalva to move the date to one not during the holiday season, the USPS would not do so. The USPS rented the smaller Leo Rich Theater, despite two venues, the TCC or the TCC Music Hall, bigger facilities, being available at the same time.

In addition, USPS didn't ask for a waiver for the parking fee, so people who had to park at the TCC, had to pay for parking. USPS officials said they were not going to do so, when asked by my Council office. To add to it further, the USPS split the meeting into two, with little notice, with businesses and nonprofits meeting earlier and the general meeting held afterward. Even more, the USPS limited time for public comment for both meetings, despite the contract for the Leo Rich letting have the facility till midnight.

Tucson and Southern Arizona turned out for both meetings, with close to 600 present for the general meeting and 50 business owners for the earlier meeting, visibly surprising USPS officials with the turnout – the biggest for these hearings held across the country on this.

Tucson and Southern Arizona showed that we are strongly opposed to closing the Cherrybell Post Office processing and distribution center.

Here is what is at stake for Tucson and Southern Arizona, in addition to the 300 potential jobs lost from the plant:

  • Costs to mail packages, letters or otherwise would rise.
  • Social Security checks and other similar financial measures would be delayed.
  • Prescriptions would be delayed.
  • Vote-by-mail would be severely affected.
  • Government costs to mail their various items would increase.
  • Overnight, two day or quicker delivery for first class postage would cease for Tucson and Southern Arizona, both the 856* and 857* ZIP codes.
  • More than 23,000 of our local businesses in Tucson and Southern Arizona, who may use mail order and had used Cherrybell, would have to pay more for shipping and postage.

These businesses would also be impacted by the loss of the processing center from all aspects. Tucson's economic potential would also be impacted with this loss, with businesses looking to expand or relocate, considering the loss of the 15th largest processing center, if it is closed.

Local mail houses would have to charge more for the services. The same local mail houses would lose the discounts by the USPS if this facility is closed, with the resulting increase in costs passed to the consumer.

Relocation of businesses could happen, resulting in further job losses. Potential businesses will not relocate to a city that doesn't have a processing or distribution center.

This is more than just a post office closing; it involves Tucson and Southern Arizona's livelihood.

If you could not have attended this meeting, you can still comment on this, by mail. Comments will be accepted and postmarked by Jan. 12. Written comments may be sent to: Management, Consumer and Industry Contact, Arizona District, P.O. Box, 21628, Phoenix, Arizona 85036-1628.

A decision will occur in May, but we must speak up now, for Cherrybell, Tucson and Southern Arizona.

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