Mayor Svante Myrick announced yesterday that his office had officially sent a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer containing a resolution passed by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance urging that the US Post Office on North Tioga Street be retained.
The letter is from the mayor's office, but was approved unanimously by the DIA's Board of Directors. It is addressed to Schumer but further requested that it be sent to other federal elected officials and the US Postal Service as well. It was composed after the USPS signed a short-term lease at its current location instead of extending further, which signaled to the DIA that the USPS might opt to consolidate its operations at the larger Warren Road facility, which is located miles outside of downtown, closer to Lansing and the Town of Ithaca.
It points out the growth that downtown Ithaca has undergone over the last several years, and how that intensifies the problem of the post office's relocation.
In the letter, the city outlines what it believes would be the biggest problems attached to a potential move out of downtown:
- Cause harm and economic stress to hundreds of downtown area businesses, many who rely on the local post office for their daily business needs
- Cause severe problems for the thousands of residents who live within asking distance of the post office. Pedestrian traffic is a key part of the Ithaca Post Office clientele. Census data shows that over 40 percent of Ithaca residents walk to work. We contend that an even greater percent of these residents walk to their Post Office.
- Many of the walking residents within the Ithaca Post Office catchment area are households with limited incomes. For them, driving to a remote location for their postal needs would be a serious physical and economic challenge.
"For these reasons we are asking our elected officials for help and assistance in working with the USPS to ensure that this busy and active post facility remain where community needs it -- in the heart of growing downtown Ithaca," the letter states.
In the tweet announcing the letter, Myrick said that he would share more information when he had it, and that the congressional delegation had signaled that they'd be "committed to working with us to figure it out."