Post office downtown to stay open

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Will it stay or will it go?  That's what customers of the downtown post office want to know.  It closed several weeks ago because of air conditioner problems, but more questions surround the future of the post office.  Recent reports by other media outlets say the post office is closing for good, but the United States Postal Service told Region 8 News that's not completely accurate.

We were told on Thursday they are looking over their options and plan on having a presence downtown.  Whether that presence will be long term or not, customers are looking for options>

"To me it's vital.  I use it everyday," said downtown business owner Stan Lamb.

"This post office has been our post office for fifty years," said downtown business owner Shirley Foust.

But rumors are swirling that the office could be closing.  United States Postal Service Customer Relations Coordinator Leisa Tolliver-Gay said that's not completely true.  On June 24th the office did technically close.  A broken air conditioner forced the business part of the office to relocate.

"We made a decision to do an emergency suspension.  We moved our clerks to another location," said Gay.

But the post office boxes inside are still being filled and you can still drop mail off.  Regardless of other information out there, Gay said the post office is not closing, at least not yet.

"All I know is that we have no final decisions made at this time and that is a fact," said Gay.

One thing that is most concerning for folks who use this office is the location.

"There are a lot of people who live around in this area and the one out on Race Street is way, way out and far from us," said Foust.

"I just think it's going to be a hardship for everyone in the area,"

A lot of people use the downtown location everyday.  In fact, a lot of people walk there and if the location were to close down for good it could have a negative impact on a lot of people.

"Businesses around here, the banks, the stores on Main Street," said Foust.

Gay said the Postal Service realizes the importance of the location.

"I'm sure the downtown area as far as business goes and people that live in that area would like to be able to have a convenient location to be able to purchase stamps or pick up their mail," said Gay.

There are several other post office locations in Jonesboro and Gay said the USPS would like to keep a presence in downtown, and their customers agree.

"I'm going to call and maybe write a letter that they keep it here we want it here real bad," said Foust.

Gay said the downtown building is an old building and there's a lot of space inside that is not utilized.  The carriers that were once located there are now located at the Hattie Caraway station.  But no final decision about the future of the downtown post office has been made.

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