Ann Arbor City Council opposing closure of South University post office branch
Ann Arbor officials say they won't let the U.S. Post Office branch on South University Avenue go down without a fight.
In response to an announcement that the station near the University of Michigan campus is on a list of post offices across the country slated for possible closure, the Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously Tuesday on a resolution that favors keeping it open for several reasons.
Council members Christopher Taylor and Sabra Briere, sponsors of the resolution, say there's a large population of Ann Arbor residents, including thousands of college students, who don't have motorized transportation and rely on walking a short distance to the post office on South University.
Briere recalled a time when three post offices were near downtown Ann Arbor, including one in Nickels Arcade that's now closed. If the South University branch closes, the only one left is at the corner of Liberty Street and Fifth Avenue, about a mile away for current users of the South University branch.
The council resolution says that distance would be "unduly impractical and highly burdensome."
"We don't want to encourage people to get in their car and drive to the post office," Briere said, adding that the federal government should encourage people to walk.
The post office, long a staple of American life, is the latest victim in an increasingly paperless, technological world, where more and more consumers conduct their business online.
The U.S. Postal Service says it may close 27 Michigan locations in response to a projected loss of about $7 billion this fiscal year. The Michigan locations are among about 700 post offices and stores targeted nationwide.
The Ann Arbor City Council resolution notes the city's A2D2 zoning plan will set the groundwork for increased residential density and commercial development in the South University area. One structure proposed for development at 601 South Forest Ave. would, if built, add about 610 beds within one block of the South University postal branch. Â "Therefore, be it resolved, that the Ann Arbor City Council opposes the proposed closure of the South University Station, and urges the USPS to keep the South University Station open, and further urges United States Representative John Dingell and United States Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to oppose the proposed closure of the South University Station, and to diligently lobby the USPS to maintain the South University Station in full operation," the council resolution reads.
City officials plan to send a certified copy of the resolution to Dingell, Levin and Stabenow and request they forward a copy to appropriate postal authorities.
Ryan Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.