Uphams Corner residents packed a meeting room Thursday night to let US Postal Service representatives know that they don’t plan on giving up their Post Office without a fight.
“What you [USPS] are doing is disenfranchising an entire community,” Marti Glynn said at the meeting, held at the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation .
The USPS is reviewing 31 Post Offices in Greater Boston to determine which ones could be closed to cut costs. The Grove Hall Post Office is also on the review list.
“No final decision has been made on this, nor will one be made tonight,” said James Holland, postmaster of Boston.
Official dockets will be gathered and the final decision will be made at the USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
To determine whether an office should be closed, the USPS has three criteria: that the office has made less than $600,000 in a year; that it is within two miles of an alternative access site; and that the office has shown to have declining revenue.
The final decision will be made sometime in late January.
The Uphams Corner Post Office is in a 60-day comment period, where residents will have a chance to let the USPS know why they should be able to keep the branch.
At the Thursday night meeting, residents passionately explained to USPS representatives that their Post Office is more than just a place to buy stamps.
“They are not considering the nature of the people in this community and what the Post Office means to us,” said Nancy Conrad.
Many at the meeting stressed that the Post Office not only provides vital shipping services but also is an anchor for economic development in the community as well as a place to cash checks and send money orders, something that can cost a significant amount more when done at a for profit check cashing establishment.
If the Uphms Corner Post office closed, the next closest office would be located in Grove Hall. If the Grove Hall office was shuttered, the two closest Post Offices would be in Dudley Square in Roxbury and Fields Corner in Dorchester.
To fight the decision, residents in Uphams Corner have been trying to get the word out to residents.
A petition, which as of Friday has 16 signatures, has been circulating online.
One issue that many residents brought up at the meeting was the fact that the notices sent out by the USPS about the potential closure of the Uphams Corner Post Office were only in English.
This angered many at the meeting who said the USPS is not making the effort to inform their customers.
“Take a look at the people in this meeting. How many people are white in this room? They [USPS] don’t know what they are doing and they are wrong,” Conrad said.
Michael Foley, the discontinuance coordinator for the USPS,, said he understands the residents’ concerns, but the USPS headquarters made the decision to go English only to not alienate other groups.
“…where do you stop? If I reached out to a Hispanic speaking community is there another community that is upset that I didn’t reach out to them. It’s a national process and the line was drawn there,” said Foley.
There are currently no more community meetings scheduled between residents and the USPS. Residents who are concerned and would like their voice heard are encourage to visit the USPS website or contact Max MacCarthy at the Uphams Corner Main Street at 617.265.0363