TYLER, TX (KLTV) - After decades of delivering mail, the downtown Tyler post office is officially closing. The U.S. Postal Service confirmed the downtown station will close in five weeks. Lifelong customers say they never thought the day would come.
"We've had this post office box in my family for over 50 years," said John Owen, a post office customer.
Owen has relied on the downtown post office. "They're the main avenue for us to get our mail...as long as I've been alive," said Owen.
When we told him this post office was closing in five weeks it was unexpected. "I'm really kind of shocked because I think the downtown area has been a little bit revitalized in the last 10 years and I would have thought this branch was doing better," said Owen.
Beverly Abell, the director of Tyler's Main Street, is also taking the news hard. She says people, like Owen who work downtown, depend upon the location everyday. "We're really disappointed to hear the news," said Abell. "Today, so many of people, thousands of people, depend on a central service like the post office."
The U.S. Postal Service says it is financially impossible for them to keep the location open.
Martha Payne knew the day would come, just not exactly when. "You're the first person that's actually told me it'll be five weeks," said Payne. "I've been asking if they knew for sure and when it was coming."
She says the post office has been a staple of downtown. "It's been here forever, and I know personally our business we have a post office box," said Payne. "In fact, we have two and we're here everyday."
It is a place of business, that Payne and many others are going to miss. "It's going to have a negative impact not only on downtown, but on the people that depend upon the post office being located here," said Abell.
The U.S. Postal Service released the following statement regarding the downtown Tyler location's closure:
In our continuing effort to reduce costs, the U.S. Postal Service will close the Tyler Downtown Station at 202 W Erwin Street on November 30, 2010.
The Postal Service will move retail business and Post Office Boxes into the Tyler Main Post Office, less than two miles from the Downtown Station. The two retail employees assigned to the Tyler Downtown Station will transfer to the Main Post Office at 2100 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
With losses of more than $7 billion in revenue last fiscal year, our only option is to reduce expenses. Every facet of the Postal Service is under review.
We have notified Post Office Box and retail customers of this change. Post Office Box customers will keep their same number, and ZIP Code, or they may opt to receive their mail delivered at their homes. We will move Post Office Boxes to the Main Post Office in Tyler, TX on November 19 and 20.
This move allows us to streamline the organization. Our intention is simple: provide quality customer service at the most affordable rate.
Three facilities will provide full retail service and mail delivery for the citizens of Tyler. IN addition to the Main Post Office, retail services are available at:
• Southeast Crossing Station at 3220 Troup Hwy
• Azalea Station at 2627 S. Broadway Ave