Stillwater News Press: U.S. Postal Service officials issued a final decision to relocate its downtown retail service center in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
In a letter dated Jan. 31, officials said the post office will move from its West Okmulgee Avenue location to a suite at Arrowhead Mall. The planned relocation — a process that was made public in July 2015 — was prompted by the need to downsize, reduce costs and increase revenue.
Sandra A. Rybicki, a real estate specialist with the U.S. Postal Service’s facilities implementation division, said during a City Council meeting when the move was made public, the post office was looking to reduce its operating space by about 10,000 square feet. Its Okmulgee Avenue location, she said, is about 26,700 square feet.
“Despite significant cost reductions, the Postal Service continues to experience a net loss as mail volume continues to decline because of increased electronic communication,” Rybicki said at the time. “As a self‐supporting government establishment that receives no tax dollars for its operating expenses, the Postal Service must rely on the sale of postage, products and services to generate revenue.”
Postal Service officials engaged in a public comment period and appeals process. Facilities Vice President Tom A. Samra said those comments were “carefully considered” while making the decision to relocate the post office.
“The Postal Service is sensitive to the impact of this decision on its customers and Muskogee community,” Facilities Vice President Tom A. Samra states in the letter posted at the downtown post office. “The Postal Service properly considered community input, and this decision is consistent with Postal Service objectives.” Read more.
According to the USPS Facilities Report, the Postal Service has been leasing the Muskogee post office property, and the current lease ends on March 31, 2018. As indicated in the USPS letter posted about the relocation, the Postal Service “was unable to come to an agreement for a new lease at the current location.”
The new location at the Arrowhead Mall is just over two miles away, but it’s not downtown. The Muskogee downtown is currently going through a revitalization effort, which will probably be hampered by the absence of a post office.
(Photo: Google Street View)