TUCSON (KVOA) - On Wednesday, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero joined community leaders in voicing their support for the Cherrybell Post Office and its importance to our region. Tuesday, United States Postmaster General DeJoy released the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) 10-year plan, which left open the possibility of future facility consolidations and service standard changes, both of which have the potential to impact Cherrybell, the City said.
Tucson’s lone postal processing center, Cherrybell, was first threatened with closure in 2011. Consumers, workers and unions, business owners, seniors, veterans groups, elected officials, and many others spoke out to successfully defend Cherrybell against closure, although partial consolidation efforts were eventually completed. This resulted in USPS beginning to ship local First-class mail from Tucson to Phoenix for processing.
On Wednesday, the entire state is dependent on Phoenix facilities for the timely processing of mail.
In 2015, a renewed attempt was made to consolidate several postal facilities, including Cherrybell. These efforts were ultimately postponed following strong public opposition. Postmaster General DeJoy’s newly released 10-year plan refers to the 2015 deferred facility consolidations, stating that, “We will evaluate the remaining facility consolidations that were deferred in 2015 and will strategically implement some of those consolidations where facilities remain underutilized,” leaving the future of Cherrybell uncertain.
“The entire Southern Arizona region relies on Cherrybell for the efficient delivery of a range of goods and services - from seniors who receive their prescription drugs by mail, to small businesses that depend on the timely delivery of goods and services.
We are still experiencing the negative consequences of partial consolidation efforts at Cherrybell that started in 2011, which resulted in longer delivery times for local mail. Our region has only grown since then, and it is illogical and inefficient for our local mail to be processed 120 miles away in Phoenix. Now is the time to expand - not reduce – processing capabilities at Cherrybell.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to the essential workers at Cherrybell who worked throughout the pandemic to continue delivering the services our community depends on. I am also grateful for the continued advocacy of our Congressional Delegation to protect Cherrybell. I encourage Tucsonans to share why Cherrybell is personally important to them, their business, and our community by completing the survey,” Mayor Romero said.
"For ten years, this Mayor and Council and the community has fought to keep Cherrybell, our Post Office and Processing Center open and fully functioning. I want to thank my colleagues on the Council, our Congressional delegation and the community for their continued support of Cherrybell.
The Postmaster has issued a plan, which will be reviewed, and we will work to preserve the 26,000 businesses who use Cherrybell, for our Veterans and Seniors who get prescriptions through the mail, as well as the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Nation who rely on Cherrybell,” Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres said.
“Cherrybell Post Office, like all post offices across the country, is a vital asset to the Tucson community. It processes tens of thousands of pieces of mail on a daily basis. It plays a key role in processing mail for smaller offices in Southern Arizona as well.
It allows small and big businesses alike to have direct access to the mail stream saving them both time and money. Lastly and most importantly it plays a vital role in the economy. Hundreds of Tucsonans rely on Cherrybell for employment and have worked in that facility providing dedication above and beyond during this pandemic,” said Mike Moriconi – President, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 255
“The Tucson Cherrybell Post Office services not only the citizens and businesses in Tucson but all surrounding communities in Southern Arizona. Tucson and Southern Arizona communities deserve and have come to rely on reliable and efficient service provided by the Cherrybell Post Office for timely delivery of US mail products and services. Cherrybell supports thousands of businesses and promotes commerce throughout Southern Arizona.
The dedicated women and men who work for the United States Postal Service deeply care about our customers and want to continue providing the best possible service to its citizens and business alike,” Kathy Walters – President, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Local 704 said.
"The Cherrybell Post Office is essential to the thousands of businesses that call Southern Arizona home. The Tucson Metro Chamber fully supports efforts to not only protect Cherrybell from future consolidation, but expand services to further support our businesses and foster economic growth. We are proud to join Mayor Romero in this effort to protect Cherrybell and the critical mail delivery services provided to our consumers and businesses alike,” said Amber Smith – President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber