Whitehaven community upset over post office closing

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some people in the Whitehaven community are boiling mad about plans to close a longtime neighborhood post office.

Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and some Memphis City Council Members are calling for the Postal Service to reconsider plans to relocate the Louis Carruthers Post Office from Whitehaven to Hacks Cross Road.
Spencer Green said he has used this post office frequently for years--sometimes several times during the week.

"The next one that I know of is kind of down Winchester, so that's a little ways away so this way is real convenient," Green said.
Now the U.S. Postal Service wants to relocate the Louis Carruthers Post Office that's in Whitehaven right by Memphis International Airport.

"That's crazy...that's crazy," Green said.

Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Junior along with Councilwoman Patrice Robinson said they first heard about the move less than two weeks ago in executive session. Now, they've written a letter to Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen after hearing from the postal service.

"This move does not take into account the needs of the Whitehaven area, especially the 38116 area. Supposedly the lease has run out on the USPS and they're being forced to move to another facility," said Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Junior.
Cohen also wrote a letter to the postal service asking for an alternative plan, so the post office near the neighborhood can remain open and still serve the Whitehaven community.

"Everything is going east, and I don't know, it seems like it's taking away from this area," Green said.

Plans to close the post office are set for April unless changes happen fast.

The airport authority said it reached out to the USPS well in advance and offered other locations at the airport.  USPS chose not to pursue any of those locations.

The USPS contract's original expiration date was October 1, 2016. They asked for and received a 6 months extension through April 30, 2017.  The Airport Authority reached out to the USPS well in advance of the original expiration date and offered the USPS locations on airport to relocate to.  The USPS chose not to pursue any of those locations.

The reason the lease was not renewed was due to a change in need for that area and a vision for what should be done for the infield airfield area surrounding Carruthers Drive.  A central location is essential for the management of a number of critical projects we have in the pipeline at MEM, including our Consolidated Aircraft Deicing Project and the construction of a new Airfield Maintenance and Operation Center.  Both of those projects support airport activities and must have direct airfield access.  Additionally, during construction of the Concourse Modernization and other projects, the area will be used for project management office space as well as a "building materials laydown and staging" area (for materials being used in construction projects such as modernization).

Memphis City Councilman Ford and Councilwoman Robinson are planning a town hall to discuss next steps with neighbors.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.