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Bloomfield Hills Opposes Post Office Closure

The Birmingham Bloomfield Paper is reporting that  the Bloomfield Hills City Commission adopted a resolution Tuesday, June 8, opposing the planned closure of the U.S. Post Office branch on Long Lake Road, next to the Bloomfield Hills City Hall.  At the meeting, postal union representatives handed out fliers and asked residents to sign petitions opposing the closure.The efforts are likely to come to naught, as the U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to move the Bloomfield Hills branch operation to a distribution location on South Boulevard, just east of Opdyke. They anticipate remodeling the South Boulevard facility to add a retail area for the public. They have not stated their time table for the changes.

The Postal Service is keeping open the Bloomfield Hills Post Office at Town Square on Telegraph Road north of Square Lake Road, by the Costco store.

“We are looking to maximize our assets, and we have an opportunity to sell the Long Lake property,” said Shannon LaBruyere, a communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, Southeast Michigan District.

She said officials recently sat down with Bloomfield Hills officials and heard their concerns, but “the way people are using the Postal Service has changed. They’re using it less and less. We have to adjust accordingly. They’re using us more online. They’re e-mailing. The reality is, the Postal Service has to operate like a business. We’re not supported by taxes. We’re looking at losing $7 billion this year. That’s a lot of red ink.”

In 2006, there were 213 billion pieces mailed through the Postal Service; in 2009, there were 177 billion pieces mailed, a 17 percent decrease.

LaBruyere emphasized that no Postal Service employees will be laid off during the move, and that there is much more parking at the South Boulevard location. The branch on Long Lake Road has limited parking, and traffic often backs up on Long Lake as drivers wait to enter the site. Nationwide, the Postal Service is considering dropping a day of delivery, and delivering mail just five days a week.

“We intend to keep post office box numbers the same for people,” she said, noting that has been an issue for many businesses and residents.

“Our union believes you don’t save a service by cutting its service,” said Roscoe Woods, executive vice president of the local postal workers union and a 22-year postal worker. “It’s about providing a universal service at a reasonable rate. We feel the (Postal Service) has been dishonest in their approach, and has ignored their customers. There aren’t as many residential customers by the South Boulevard location. People tend not to travel, so we’ll lose customers.”

LaBruyere disagreed.

“It’s not 50 years ago, when people didn’t have as much transportation as today,” she said. “The South Boulevard location is only about two miles east of the Long Lake location. It will be farther for some residents, yet closer for others. These are our economic realities.”

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