Despite a Senate bill that would prevent such an action, the United State Post Office may be forced to close its Broadway location and consolidate operations at its 4th and Lander facility because of new legislation making its way through Congress, officials say. The possible cutback is one of the hurdles clouding the negotiations for a new lease for the Broadway facility that CHS reported on in March.
“We’ve pretty much agree to wait and see what the House of Representatives does” before making the decision, Seattle USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson said. The Senate has already passed a bill that would prevent such consolidations, but the bill the House is currently considering is very different from the Senate version.
USPS would also move its services from its 23rd and Union location to the 4th and Lander center.
If the consolidations happen, USPS hopes to keep a retail presence in the areas that lose facilities. Though the letter carriers and the vehicle fleet at 23rd and Union would move, residents could still be able to meet their mail needs either in the current space or a nearby spot, said Swanson.
“If that hapens, we would make every effort to find a suitable alternate location or just keep the retail where they are if that looks like the better option,” said Swanson.
USPS has significantly reduced its workforce in recent years, hiring very rarely and letting people retire or leave voluntarily. Swanson said they hope to avoid further layoffs if the consolidation occurs, but nothing is certain.
Last July there was a list of some 3,700 post offices that would close or consolidate. The Broadway branch was not on the list and has not yet been added, according to officials. As USPS waits to work out a new the lease, the House legislation could enable such a cut
Mark Rozgay, manager of the trust that owns the land at Broadway and Denny where the post office is located, told CHS us he is in the process of negotiating a new 10-year lease with USPS. In March, postal officials said there were no “concrete plans” to shutter the Broadway office or consolidate it at another location.
“For many years we’ve been trying to find another location,” Swanson said. “It’s small, old, there’s no customer parking, no employee parking, and we have to rent space offsite to park the trucks. We just haven’t been able to find a replacement. It’s tough to find space in the Broadway area. That’s not to say something might not change, but there are no plans to close or consolidate.”
Plans for upgrading the Broadway post office building have been in the air for years — here’s our report on the situation from May 2009.
The current lease runs out later this year CHS has learned the lease is through 2015.