Add Sen. Jeff Bingaman to a growing list of officials bristling over plans to close the downtown Post Office in Clovis.
Bingaman said he is pressing the postal service to keep the Gidding Street Post Office open and said he has sent a letter to the postmaster general making a case against closing.
Bingaman said closure would have a significant impact on local government, business development and Cannon Air Force Base.
Officials are concerned the potential closure of Clovis’ Gidding Street Post Office would impact downtown revitalization and could come at a time of growth and need in the community.
Tuesday, officials with the U.S. Postal Service confirmed they were considering closing the downtown post office and consolidating its assets with the facility on West 21st Street. The Postal Service cited tough economic times and gloomy forecasts of high losses.
Spokeswoman Barbara Wood said it was all in the early stages of consideration and said she could not give a timeline for when it could happen.
“The Giddings PO is located in downtown Clovis and serves many businesses and residences in the area, including Cannon Air Force Base and the City Hall,” Bingaman said. “Couriers from City Hall travel to and from the Giddings PO at least twice a day. Elimination of the Giddings PO would add an additional 2,080 miles a year for their courier staff to collect and deliver the daily mail for the city which would be an added expense and inconvenience.
“In addition, the Giddings PO serves many residents and businesses in the downtown area. Clovis is working hard to revitalize the downtown area and the loss of the Giddings PO would deal a significant blow to these efforts.”
Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said she shares the same concerns about the effect closing the post office could have on the downtown community.
“There’s a lot of people that live or work in that area and I think they like to go down there. I think it is a huge asset for downtown... it’s almost like a small gathering place,” she said.
Brumfield said she too would like to see the postal service decide against the closure.
Cannon is expecting at least 2,500 new personnel in the next couple of years, she said, and a lot of effort has been put into reviving downtown and making it a business and retail hub.
“I don’t think this is the time to be looking at down-sizing something in a time of possible growth. We need to do whatever we can do to sway them the other way for many reasons,” she said.
“I understand the budget crunch that’s going on but we are not having that in Clovis and I don’t think we should be punished for something that's happening nationally.”
Wood said Thursday she was not aware if Bingaman’s letter had been received by the postmaster general or what, if any, impact it might have on the decision.