Local businesses and residents have until June 30 to fill out a survey on what they think about the U.S. Postal Service's plans to shut down mail processing at Tucson's Cherrybell center.
In May, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres released two public, bilingual surveys to collect people's experiences with things such as delayed mail after the Postal Service completed phase one of its consolidation plans. The second phase was scheduled for July but the Postal Service announced it would not happen until some time in 2016, a press release from the city of Tucson said.
Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service
In the meantime, the city has collected more than 1,000 comments to try to keep Cherrybell as is. The surveys' timeline was extended because of the overload of responses, the city said. Many local chambers of commerce, such as the Tucson, Hispanic and Black chambers, have encouraged its members to voice their concerns.
“The results have been overwhelming," Rothschild said in a statement. “This is a perfect example of the importance of public participation in a city matter. The residents and businesses of Tucson voiced their opinions, and those opinions were heard in Washington, D.C.”
Fimbres plans to deliver the results to the Postal Service's postmaster general and congressional officers that have a say on the Postal Service's nationwide consolidation and money-saving efforts.
“Tucson is an important city and despite voicing repeated concerns, outside organizations were making decisions that did not protect the best interest of our city," Fimbres said in a statement. "I cannot thank enough those people who took time to share their thoughts and opinions. Your responses made a huge impact. This is not over yet. We have a lot of work to do before we can call this issue closed."
Rather than processing mail at Cherrybell, the Postal Service has shipped all outgoing Tucson mail to Phoenix prior to distribution, even if the mail has a Tucson address.
U.S. Reps. Martha McSally and Raúl Grijalva, as well as other local political and business voices, have pushed to keep Cherrybell running. The Postal Service announced the consolidation plans in 2011 as an effort to reduce costs for the agency. If the Cherrybell plans proceed, an approximate 250 jobs would be lost and overnight delivery to Tucson would end.
If you are interested in filling out a survey, here are the links in English and Spanish:
Tucson Business Postal Survey
Servicio Postal de Tucson - Encuesta para la Comunidad de Negocios
Tucson Community Postal Survey