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Residents weigh in on Victoria post office's future (video)

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
July 10, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.
Updated July 11, 2013 at 2:11 a.m.

Robert Jenkins

Robert Jenkins   ALLISON MILES for The Victoria Advocate

A city is like an animal. When the heart is healthy, the animal is healthy, former Victoria mayor Will Armstrong said.

And while Victoria's heart - its downtown - is growing and thriving, the loss of the Main Street post office could be a heavy blow.

Armstrong was one of 86 people who filled the Victoria Electric Cooperative auditorium Wednesday for a community meeting to discuss the future of Victoria's Main Street post office.

"We need you here," he said to Postal Service representatives. "Stay with us. Don't make your decision to adversely affect our downtown expansion."

The meeting is part of a feasibility study underway to determine whether to merge Main Street operations with Victoria's James Moody Station office on Sam Houston Drive.

No decision has yet been made.

Studies indicate the proposed consolidation would mean about $850,000 in annual savings, along with other benefits, said Daniel Reyes, manager of post office operations. Those include eliminating transportation and duplicate operations, saving fuel, maximizing resources and reducing excess capacity.

He said the consolidation would not bring any change in ZIP codes, post office box numbers or the number of career postal service employees.

Such savings would help, he said, explaining the Postal Service is facing challenges unlike those ever before.

Mail volume decreased by 25 percent between 2007 and 2012, he said, and the Postal Service saw a $41 billion net loss within that same time period.

All in all, the Postal Service loses $25 million per day, added Robert Jenkins, manager of marketing for the Rio Grande District.

Crossroads residents spoke up during the meeting's question-and-answer session, voicing concerns about the possible close.

Don Truman, with District 30 state Rep. Geanie Morrison's office, said closing the downtown location would burden residents on Victoria's south side, many of whom are minorities.

Many people have no easy way to reach the James Moody office, he said, noting that bus service isn't the fastest means of transportation.

He encouraged the Postal Service to address the issue internally and assess the effects a closure would have on the city's population.

Randy Vivian, president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said he's spoken with a number of chamber members regarding the merge and cited concerns with congestion and long lines at the James Moody office.

That location already experiences issues, he said, but doubling the volume James Moody sees would mean added constraint.

"It's just a major convenience issue for the citizens of Victoria," he said.


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