KINGMAN - Jack Kesler thinks it's a poor decision for the U.S. Postal Service to close the contract post office at 229 E. Andy Devine Ave. in downtown Kingman and it doesn't make much sense to him.
Then again, the downtown Kingman resident didn't lose $2 billion, as the USPS did in the third quarter of this fiscal year.
"As you know, the U.S. Postal Service has been in a fairly difficult financial situation recently," USPS spokesman Peter Hass told the Daily Miner Tuesday. "We're looking for a more economically efficient location for us to provide this service."
The postal service announced that it will close the downtown postal unit on Dec. 31 and urged customers to use Kingman's main post office at 1901 Johnson Ave. and other locations. All customers will need to forward their mail to a new address.
So many older people depend on the downtown station and don't have access to the main post office, Kesler said.
"There's a lot of poor people and they don't have transportation," he said. "I'm getting older and more careful and I don't want to drive Stockton Hill Road any more than I have to. I don't think they really know what they're doing to these old people."
Letters announcing the change have been mailed to all customers served by the location on Andy Devine Avenue. There's also signage posted on the door.
"We apologize for any inconvenience our customers may experience because of this closure, but the Postal Service is committed to identifying a more affordable downtown location in an existing business and continuing to offer fantastic service to its customers in Kingman," acting Kingman Postmaster Duane Whiley said in a prepared statement.
Hass said contract postal units are typically located in an existing business, such as a bicycle shop in Scottsdale and a gas station and convenience store in Tucson.
The Postal Service is looking to place the contract postal unit in another downtown business, he said.
"We've done some canvassing of downtown businesses searching for a new contract location. At this point, we've found no interest in providing post office box service," Hass said. "If we do receive one or more reasonable offers to provide this service, we'll certainly be willing to listen to those proposals."
Businesses interested in submitting a bid for a contract postal unit may call Cindy Lee at (602) 225-3368.
Kesler said the new contract postal unit will only sell stamps, envelopes and boxes for mailing, but will not have post office boxes.
It's important to note that every customer with a post office box at the Andy Devine location also receives street mail delivery from the Postal Service.
Though its oversight is by Congress, the Postal Service receives no federal tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.