Coralville city officials plan to file an appeal to the United States Postal Service after being notified of its decision to once again include retail in the office’s move to a different location at 2150 James Street.
U.S. Postal service officials indicated they would reconsider where to house retail services after community members expressed concerns at an August public meeting about the new facility’s accessibility to those without vehicles or who rely on public transportation. Carrier and other operations would then be relocated to the James Street location.
However, U.S. Postal Service realtor Angela Kuhl sent a letter to Coralville officials on Sept. 25, indicating that after further review, officials are sticking to the original plan.
City Councilor Mitch Gross said he wasn’t surprised by the decision.
“I felt at the public input meeting they weren’t taking our concerns seriously,” Gross said, adding he hopes the community will again express their concerns to post office officials.
USPS spokesman Rich Watkins said the fact the U.S. postal service owned the James Street building, and the ability to improve retail and delivery services at the location, factored into their decision.
“When changes are necessary, USPS looks at alternatives that maximize operational efficiencies and generate minimal customer impact,” Watkins said in an email.
City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said the city’s appeal notes the James Street location is in an industrial zone, and a lack of sidewalks in the area make the proposed location not suitable for retail use.
He said the city doesn’t take issue with the relocation of carrier and other services, but is concerned about accessibility for community members.
However, since its a federal facility, Hayworth noted postal service officials could potentially override city ordinances.
Coralville officials and community members have 30 days from receiving the letter to request an appeal. Watkins said if the city files for an appeal it would be forwarded to the Hawkeye District offices for review.