The Uphams Corner and Grove Hall post offices are among six in Boston and 3,700 across the country on list of outlets the US Postal Service is considering closing. The Uphams Corner branch is located on Columbia Road, while the Grove Hall branch is on Warren Street.
The Postal Service is looking to close 12 percent of its offices to cut costs. It says it would work with local retailers in communities that lose their offices to offer some postal services.
“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs, and usps.com, open 24/7,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”
But neighborhood leaders disagree. Ed Grimes, who heads the Uphams Corner Health Center, said many people, especially the elderly, rent post office boxes to securely receive mail, such as Social Security checks. Low-income residents also rely on the post office to buy money orders so they can pay their bills, he said.
The health center is directly impacted because it owns the building that houses the post office. If the branch closes, that means a loss of revenue for the health center.
“To have a business district without a post office is a real disappointment and a negative for Uphams Corner,” Grimes said, adding that the closest branches appear to be in Fields Corner and Roxbury.
“I think most people would be happy to see Saturday delivery stop as opposed to closing post offices, but we’ll have to see what the final decisions are,” he said.
City Councillor Tito Jackson, whose district includes the two post offices, said he was upset about the possible closings. He noted that a “digital divide” exists in many urban communities. “We know oftentimes they’re not going onto USPS.com to print off stamps,” he said of the elderly, adding that he would press the state’s congressional delegation to block the moves.