Neighbors concerned over fate of post office in the Heights

Neighbors concerned over fate Heights post office

Neighbors in the Heights community of Little Rock have been very upset the last few days after hearing from their letter carriers that the area's post office may close.

The U.S. Postal Service rents the property at 5420 Kavanaugh Boulevard from a local business man.

The lease is coming up, and there were questions and concerns about whether or not the Postal Service would renew that lease, because the cost is also up.

"People move into this area of town because of the amenities it has. Having a great post office with good staff is certainly important to people,” said Norman Hodges, President of the Heights Neighborhood Association. "For all the businesses, the residents, what have you, it is a very busy office. If you've ever been around here and looked very much, it is constantly busy, so it would be a real detriment."

That group has appealed to local, state, and even national leaders to help them save the post officer, also known as Forest Park Station.

"I'm aware how government works, and I think anybody that can bring any leverage whatsoever; minimal though it may be, is to be congratulated,” Hodges said of their efforts.

Congressman French Hill sent a letter to the head of the USPS in Washington D.C. with the pleas of the neighbors not to relocate the post office.

A lot has changed in the 53 years since the Forest Park Station became a tenant. Neighbors say the post office is one of those few things that has stayed the same.

"I would hate to lose it,” said Terry Yamauci, a Heights resident. "We are really just so happy with this post office; the service, it is easy to get into, and it’s a short distance for a lot of people around here. Otherwise we'd have to go downtown to pick up packages, when we can pick up packages right here."

Bruce Thalheimer, the property owner told the post office has a five year lease with a five year option. He said they're not raising the rent. This is the price both parties agreed to 10 years ago and is below market by 10 to 15 percent.

"If it is substantially less than the going rate in the Heights, even with the new rate, I think that's a value to the Heights and I would say thank you to the landowner for agreeing to do something,” Hodges said.

The US Postal Service stated there are currently no plans to close the Little Rock Forest Park Station. USPS said the current lease for this facility is under review.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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