The Bradley County Mayor’s Office approved a $24,500 per year contract that would lease the 2,116-square foot space to the post office for an additional five years.
In 2011, the downtown post office, which is housed in the Bradley County Courthouse Annex at 155 Broad St., was on a list of thousands of postal facilities nationwide being considered for closure in light of the USPS running into financial trouble.
The original announcement was met by much protest from the owners of local shops, restaurants and other businesses in the downtown area that utilized that post office location because of its convenience.
While the future of the post office staying downtown for the very long term is still up in the air, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the five-year contract means “good news” for now.
“That tells you that it’s not leaving,” Davis said. “For all the people who were concerned about them leaving, that is good news.”
Business owners in the downtown area said they were glad the post office would not be closing soon but expressed discomfort at the potentially temporary nature of the contract. Others said they were concerned about how congested the facility’s main Cleveland branch on Keith Street would get if the downtown location closed down.
Ron Weaver, manager of Razzberryz gift shop, said his business utilizes the downtown post office two or three times per week to both receive and ship the business’ merchandise, something that is “very inconvenient” to do at Keith Street location as it is already busy.
“The main branch is so congested during peak times,” Weaver said. “It is almost impossible to get things done in a quick manner.”
He said he believed the post office leaving would be “detrimental to the community.”