Main Coralville Post Office Slated for Closure

By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Like Iowa City, Coralville also is facing the relocation of its main post office.

The U.S. Postal Service notified Coralville in writing in July that it intends to move out of its building at 10th Avenue and Fifth Street and transfer services to the agency's annex building on James Street.

Coralville officials have for years been calling for a new post office with more parking, but the James Street location is not what they had in mind.

The buildings are just one mile apart, but James Street is on the southern edge of town and is across busy Second Street and railroad tracks in a business park-like setting that lacks sidewalks. Also, the current post office is on a bus route.

"We just want it in a location where it is accessible to the elderly, to the handicapped – to the people of the community," Mayor Jim Fausett said Thursday.

Representatives from the Postal Service plan to hold a public meeting on the matter at Coralville City Hall from 2-3 p.m. Aug. 7, although Fausett wants that changed to the evening to encourage better attendance.

At 10 a.m. that same day, a similar meeting is scheduled for City Hall in Iowa City. It was announced Wednesday that the Postal Service plans to leave its main Iowa City post office on Clinton Street south of downtown for a smaller space.

Both moves are being done to save money, said Richard Watkins, a Postal Service spokesman.

The agency has had well-publicized financial problems in recent years. It recorded $19 billion in net losses in the previous 18 months, it said last month.

With Congress thwarting some cost-saving proposals, such as ending Saturday mail delivery, Watkins said the agency must look at cuts it has the authority to make. That includes consolidating routes, shortening hours at post offices and building changes.

The Postal Service rents the Clinton Street and 10th Avenue locations, Watkins said. It owns the Coralville annex building.

"When we're looking at these things, it's driven by finances, absolutely," he said.

The annex building will be remodeled to accommodate retail services for Coralville customers, the agency said in its letter to the city. Watkins said there was no timeline for the move.

In Iowa City, the Postal Service plans to stay in the downtown area at a location to be determined, he said.
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