Post office public hearing to focus on Berkeley sale plan

Post office protest by Daniel Parks
Protesters made their views known last year about the proposal to sell the downtown Berkeley post office building. Photo: Daniel Parks

The United States Postal Service is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss the proposal to relocate the downtown Berkeley Post Office and sell its existing building at 2000 Allston Way.

The USPS says the sale is necessary to generate revenue after the organization has experienced a 26% drop in mail volume over the past three years.

A group of local residents who opposes the sale is expected to hold rally outside the Berkeley City Council Chambers where the meeting is taking place, starting at 6:00 p.m.. Local monologist and actor Josh Kornbluth is participating in the rally and will be at the hearing. The Save the Berkeley Post Office group argues the the city cannot lose a historic, architecturally significant building which was built with public funds.

Josh_Kornbluth3“Sold post offices have frequently morphed into restaurants or offices, or even been abandoned,” the group wrote in a release. “At some, it is necessary to ask permission to see the public art. At others, nobody even knows where the art has gone.”

In a statement the USPS said: “The reason behind the proposal is the realignment of USPS infrastructure to a 26-percent drop in total mail volume over the past three years, brought about by the diversion to electronic communication and business transactions. USPS does not receive tax dollars for its operations or facilities, but covers costs solely through the revenue received from the sale of its products and services. The Postal Service is in a very serious financial situation and is facing insolvency. Every opportunity to reduce expenses and generate revenue is being considered in order to maintain universal service to our customers.”


The public can make comments at the meeting tonight. USPS is also accepting written comments from the public until March 13. They should be submitted to: Diana Alvarado, Facilities Implementation-Pacific Area, U.S. Postal Service, 1300 Evans Avenue, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94188-8200.

Meeting details: Tuesday Feb. 26, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Berkeley City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Related:
Berkeley discusses future of main post office [02.13.12]
Protesters take Save Post Office demo to San Francisco [12.05.12]
Rally held to protest sale of Berkeley’s main post office [11.15.12]
Developer eyes Berkeley’s historic post office [08.01.12]
Chances are slim of stopping sale of Berkeley’s post office [07.23.12]
Postal Service plans sale of Berkeley’s main post office [06.25.12]

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