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October 21, 2014

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THE ECONOMY:

Residents decry possible loss of post office

Councilwoman says loss would be damaging to elderly, businesses

Image

Jinae West

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, center, speaks Monday in front of the Garside Post Office in response to an announcement that some post offices are being considered for closure because of a decrease in workload. Former Las Vegas City Councilman Michael McDonald is at left.

Garside Post Office

Beyond the Sun

Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian said today that losing the Garside Post Office in her district would make it difficult for senior citizens and residents who rely on public transportation to get to the Post Office. Local businesses would also be affected, she said.

Tarkanian held a news conference in front of the Garside Post Office, 1801 S. Decatur Blvd., in response to an announcement that some post offices are being considered for closure because of a decrease in workload. About 15 residents gathered Monday to hear Tarkanian and express their own concerns.

"At a time when we're fighting the losing of our supermarkets and other businesses, we can't afford to lose this post office, which is so important to us," she said.

Tarkanian, who represents Ward 1, urged constituents to fill out a survey to voice their opinions to the U.S. Postal Service. Once the Postal Service obtains the surveys, it will make a decision, she said.

The other locations being considered for closure are the Desert Inn Retail Unit, 24787 Desert Inn Road; Huntridge Station, 3115 E. Olive St.; King Station, 1801 N. Martin Luther King Road; and the Strip Station, 3100 S. Industrial Road.

Tarkanian said she knows the Postal Service is trying to save money and said it would be more fair to go from six to five days of mail service across the board so one community wouldn't have to suffer from a closure.

Resident Skye Campbell said several stores already have closed in the area. Shutting down the Garside Post Office, she said, would only worsen the situation.

"This (post office) has always been a central hub. We're not a poor district, and now to take out our post office, I don't even know where the next closest post office is," Campbell said.

She added: "It's not like this place is empty. Every time I come here, it's busy."

Similarly, Randall Brown, who said he heard about the survey on Sunday, said he wonders if anyone who is considering closing Garside has seen the full parking lot or long lines.

"It's not like it's an abandoned post office," he said. "It's always busy. It's not a matter of one of these things just sitting out empty that nobody uses."

He said it would be an inconvenience to drive to the next closest post office to have to do something as simple as buying stamps. Closing the post office would just be another loss for a community that already has seen its share of vacancies, he said.

"It's just a further degradation. It's just part of a scheme," Brown said. "It's slowly unraveling it seems in Ward 1. Everyone's moving out to the suburbs, but you know, we still live here."

The survey is available through Loretta Kirkpatrick, manager of consumer affairs for the Postal Service, at 361-9204 or Tarkanian's office at 229-2299. All forms must be turned in by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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