Downtown Post Office Shutting Down - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/18/05

Downtown Post Office Shutting Down

For some, it's considered the end of an era. Effective August 31st. the post office on Main Street in Old Town Bay St. Louis will close. The "Downtown Station" as it's called has operated as a contract postal branch for more than 18 years. Customers say the post office is more than just a place to conduct business and many plan to fight to keep it open.

Holly Hayden has had a family post office box at the downtown postal station for more than 40 years. She says closing the facility will mean major headaches for a lot of people. "The main inconvenience is that we'll have to go out to the highway to the main post office. It also the inconvenience of having had this address for over 40 years and notifying people from all of our past as to what our new address will be." Bay St. Louis Resident, Emily DeMontluzin echoed her words. "Our family has had a post office box here since 1878. This has been a place where so many friends meet. Every time we go into the post office we see someone we know and like to chat with it's almost like having a little social club here. " Even though the current operator says it's time to retire, others have offered to take over.

But, the postal service says the downtown station no longer meets the criteria to stay open. "The criteria is it can't operate within five miles of another post office, another criteria we don't have a wait time or line issue here at the Bay St. Louis Post Office and we don't have a waiting list for post office box customers." Said Bay St. Louis Post Master, Rickey Harrell . Downtown Business owners have started a petition drive in hopes of keeping it open. "We use the post office probably 2 or 3 times a day we ship to our customers. But also the traffic that we get from patrons going to the post office elderly patients who do not get out of the area to shop they use us for birthdays, Christmas gifts." Said Downtown Business Owner, Pam Collins.

However for now, the main post office on Highway 90 will handle all postal shipping. While customers fight to keep the Downtown Station open, Post Master Rickey Harrell says they're trying to make the transition as easy as possible. P-O box customers will have until September first to get new addresses at the main post office on Highway 90.

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