By Charles Sercombe
Pop the champagne corks and call off Saturday’s rally to save Hamtramck’s post office.
Hamtramck’s post office has been saved. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
Russ Gordon, the chairman of the Committee to Save the Hamtramck Post Office, said he received word from the Detroit Postmaster that the Hamtramck branch is officially off the list of proposed closings.
“They were sensitive to the needs of Hamtramck,” Gordon said. “Hamtramck is special because we have such a large immigrant population who walk to stores and for services, like the post office. Having a local post office branch is not a matter of convenience, it’s a matter of necessity.”
Postal authorities are considering closing several hundred branches throughout the country in an effort to stop the bleeding of millions of dollars. The postal service has suffered a steady decline in mailing as more and more people use the Internet to communicate and pay bills.
While a number of other communities have protested branch closings in their hometown, Hamtramck appeared to be better organized and more vocal about saving this branch. Gordon said the Detroit Postmaster, Lloyd E. Wesley, Jr., wrote to him to confirm the decision.
“The Postal Service has done a thorough investigation of the proposal to consolidate the Hamtramck Branch and we have determined it would not be in the best interest to pursue this matter. Therefore the Hamtramck Branch will remain at its current location and will continue to service the residents of the community,” said Wesley.
The postal service had been wavering on what to do with the Hamtramck office. It was at first on the short list of offices to be closed but later placed on a list of offices that might be closed. No final decision came until a few days ago.
Hamtramck’s post office was constructed in 1936 and was at the time a major development and major shot in the city’s economic arm as it struggled to survive during the Great Depression.
Greg Kowalski, the chairman of the city’s Historical Commission, said he is looking into getting the post office declared an historic building. Kowalski and Edin Alesevic, Ismira Lokmic, Marek Dudzinski and Kazi Miah are members of the Post Office Committee.
Gordon said he would like to keep the committee active and seek funds to restore the post office.