From The PD
Ukiah’s historic downtown post office is targeted for closure, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday. Postal officials plan to move retail mail services from downtown to the postal annex on the outskirts of town, confirming what Ukiah officials and residents have feared for months. “This is official,” said Ukiah Mayor Mari Rodin, who was informed about the plan during a meeting with Postal Service officials Wednesday. She vowed to fight the move. “I’m really committed to doing whatever I have to do to try to keep it here,” Rodin said.
The 1930s era post office, with its 1940s federal works project mural, is an integral part of the downtown’s history and crucial to creating a vital, walkable downtown, she said. However, postal officials said the building would require $780,000 in repairs, including a new roof, heating and electrical systems and fire alarms, to remain open. A public hearing on the proposed closure is the next step, and will be held within 60 days, said Postal Service spokesman James Wigdel. “The sooner the better,” he said.
A community group formed to preserve the downtown post office plans to rally citizens to attend meetings and sign petitions to underscore its importance. “If you believe the post office should remain where it is, come to the public meeting and explain why,” said Ukiah attorney Barry Vogel, a member of the group.
Postal officials are hoping to have a final determination on the post office’s fate within three months, Wigdel said. If approved, modifications will be made to the annex to incorporate the retail services now offered downtown. The cost of the improvements and the move are expected to cost $360,000. The Postal Service is consolidating services nationwide to reduce its budgetary bleeding, estimated at $8.5 billion annually, Wigdel said.
Healdsburg officials and residents won a 2008 campaign against the planned closure of the city’s downtown post office just off the Healdsburg Plaza. But the post office was gutted by fire in August, effectively changing plans to keep the office open. The Postal Service has since refurbished its Healdsburg annex building and moved all postal business to that location… Full article here