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Ten local post offices may face closure

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A major announcement by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service which is now considering shutting down more than 3,600 post offices across the country.

Among those that could close in our area are two Post Office locations in downtown Houston, four on the north and northeast sides of town, three in south and southeast Houston and one location in Pasadena.

The Civic Center Houston Post Office is one of the ten local post offices that could close. While the USPS says a lot of the 3,600 post offices on the list nationwide are in smaller communities, this one clearly is not.

Right around noon on the weekdays, the traffic at the Post Office at 700 Smith Street in downtown Houston picks up.

"We stopped using FedEx because of cost because we wanted to use the Express Mail at the Post Office; it's less expensive," said customer Noubia Castrillon.

But it is on a list of nine Houston and one Pasadena post offices that will now be studied to see if they will be closed.

The problem, according to a spokeswoman, is "the biggest financial crisis of the Postal Service's history."

In short, rising costs and competition from email and internet bill pay; it's something lunchtime post office customers were pretty familiar with.

"For the most part I think 60 percent of the things we do, I do personally, is online now," said customer Kevin Braggs.

But not everybody does their business online, instead using old-fashioned "snail mail" to get things done.

"We write a check and we send them in the mail," said Castrillon.

The ten local post offices on the list will now undergo a 138 day study, where things like foot traffic and sales and the number of work hours will be compared.

None of the post offices on the list will close before December. But if the downtown post office is shut down, a lunch time stop will become a lot less convenient in the New Year.

"There are many business centers downtown still the core of Houston, so we should keep this post office if we're going to keep any," said customer Robert Muhammad.

Here are the local locations:

  • CIVIC CENTER HOUSTON, 700 Smith St Houston, TX 77002
  • EAST HOUSTON HOUSTON, 9604 Mesa Dr Houston, TX 77078
  • JENSEN DRIVE HOUSTON, 3520 Jensen Dr Houston, TX 77026
  • TWO HOU CNTR FIN U HOUSTON 77010
  • DENVER HARBOR HOUSTON 77020
  • HARRISBURG HOUSTON 77012
  • IRVINGTON HOUSTON 77022
  • PARK PLACE HOUSTON 77017
  • MARTIN LUTHER KING HOUSTON 77051
  • JOHN FOSTER PASADENA 77502

We have the full list of those post offices under consideration here.

Just because a post office has been selected for review, doesn't mean it will be closed. Back in January, the USPS announced it was reviewing 1,400 offices for closing. So far, only 280 of those have actually shut their doors. Two hundred others made it through the review process and will remain open.

Once an office is selected, the public has 60 days to weigh in on just how necessary the office location is to the community.

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