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Local response on Tualatin Post Office made impact, USPS confirms

Postal Service is searching for prospective new locations after community rejects Teton Avenue relocation proposal.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Susan Noack, chairwoman of the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force, said she is very happy that the Tualatin Post Office won't be moving to Southwest Teton Avenue.After a letter-writing campaign last month urging the U.S. Postal Service not to move the Tualatin Post Office to a facility on Southwest Teton Avenue, the Postal Service is searching for a new plan.

A Postal Service real estate specialist handling the relocation effort told Tualatin's assistant city manager in an email last Wednesday that the USPS was no longer considering the Teton Avenue site. Peter Hass, a spokesman for the Postal Service's operations in Oregon, confirmed to The Times on Tuesday that the agency dropped its initial proposal due to the response from the community, which was overwhelmingly negative toward the idea of relocating the post office from Southwest 90th Avenue to a detached carrier facility in Tualatin's industrial area.

“As a result of input from local postal customers, the Postal Service has made a decision not to pursue a move of Tualatin Post Office operations to the nearby carrier annex,” Hass wrote in an email. “A new search is underway to identify potential new locations.”

Opponents of the original proposal argued that the carrier facility on Teton Avenue is not easily accessible to those without a car; that heavy truck traffic and poor lighting would make it dangerous for users, particularly the disabled and elderly; and that the location would be less convenient for many of the Tualatin Post Office's current customers.

The Tualatin Area Aging Task Force led an effort to send as many letters as possible expressing opposition to the Postal Service's plans, which were presented to the public at a meeting at the Tualatin Public Library on July 26.

Susan Noack, the task force's chairwoman, said last Friday that she believed more than 400 letters in all had been sent. Tualatin's members of Congress, Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, also sent a joint letter urging the Postal Service to “thoroughly review the concerns the community has expressed” about the proposal.

“The Postal Service did receive a letter from congressional representatives regarding the Tualatin Post Office, and we appreciate their input, as we do the input from any member of the community,” Hass told The Times.

Another public meeting will be scheduled to discuss possible alternate locations for the Tualatin Post Office, according to Hass.

Noack said she wants ideas from the community presented at that meeting.

“I want to pack the house with the community, residents and businesses,” Noack said last Friday. “Now that we're on a positive side of this, and not a negative side — that they listened, which is really remarkable — we will be positive in our meeting and offer really good solutions.”

The Postal Service has said the current Tualatin Post Office is too large for its current needs. Its lease at the location expires next April, according to Hass.

Hass said property-owners with about 6,000 square feet of space that could accommodate the Tualatin Post Office's operations can contact Shelton at 303-264-0412 if they would like to be considered.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor
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