Make us your home page
Instagram

Plan to close three Clearwater post offices upsets customers

CLEARWATER — One of the three Clearwater post offices the U.S. Postal Service is considering shutting down is a stately marbled landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1933, it is the Cleveland Street location that gets steady use by the Clearwater Courthouse, municipal employees and residents.

Jon Russell, 67, who fondly remembers coming to the facility as a child in the early 1950s, was surprised to hear the news.

"I would like to see it preserved,'' he said. "There is a special romanticism (about) coming here.''

He added that the post office is "extremely important for all these businesses and the people who live here.''

JoAnn Hutchinson, 52, who lives five minutes away, has been using it to mail letters at least once a month for 23 years.

"I think it would be bad because there would be nowhere else convenient to go, not for me, anyway,'' she said.

Drew Sweet, 53, who uses the location about three times a year, said the building is "beautiful'' and it would be a shame if it closes.

"It's symbolic of Clearwater,'' he said.

The three Clearwater post offices are among 13 in Tampa Bay and up to 1,000 nationwide being considered for closure as the Postal Service struggles to deal with a potential $7 billion loss this year.

Of the three in Clearwater on the chopping block, the location at 650 Cleveland St. is the only facility the U.S. Postal Service owns. The others are leased.

Gary Sawtelle, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said its historic designation "absolutely'' will be a factor as a case-by-case evaluation of each location is conducted.

He added an announcement of the Postal Service's decision could come within 60 days.

Another candidate, 45 Causeway Blvd., is the only post office, aside from a contract station on Island Estates, on Clearwater Beach.

If it closes, life will be more difficult for Doug Pras, 35, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair.

"It would impact me greatly,'' he said. "Going to Largo would be a disaster. I have a minivan, but can't leave home for a long (period) of time.''

Pras, who lives on Sand Key, added that during the holidays, the post office is so busy "there's a line out the door.''

Martin Greenberg, 64, who uses the branch two or three times a week, said "this better not close.''

He said during spring break, it can take him an hour and a half to get over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge to visit another post office.

Plus, he said, "there are no mailboxes on north beach, go ahead and try and find one.''

It's a dire need, according to Maddie Fedele, 65, of Clearwater Beach.

"I can't get the services that I need anywhere else,'' she said. "I'm sort of handicapped and I can't say enough about what they do for me here.''

Countryside Postal at 25941 U.S. 19 N is also in danger of being shut down.

Closure would be an inconvenience for Phyllis Mannino, 66, who mails letters and packages from the location once a week.

"It's a friendly, warm, fast and efficient atmosphere,'' she said.

Phyllis Lewellyn, 54, also is a regular, sending mailings for the nonprofit she helps run.

She likes that it is in the neighborhood.

"I feel it's very busy,'' Lewellyn said. "I can't imagine why it would be one of the ones that closes.''

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Plan to close three Clearwater post offices upsets customers 08/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  2. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman sells house for $3 million to new player

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman's multi-million Davis Islands home is staying in the Lightning family. Yzerman sold his 6,265-square-foot house Monday to new defenseman Dan Girardi for $3 million.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman sold for $3 million Monday to Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi. | [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  4. Trigaux: As Florida seeks top 10 status as best business state, red flag rises on workforce

    Business

    In the eternal quest to appeal more to business than other states, Florida's managed to haul itself out of some pretty mediocre years. After scoring an impressive 8 among 50 states way back in 2007, Florida suffered horribly during and immediately after the recession. Its rank sank as low as No. 30 only four years ago, …

    Florida's trying to make strides in preparing its high school and college graduates for the rapidly changing skill sets of today's workforce. But the latest CNBC ranking of the best and worst states for business gave Florida poor marks for education, ranking No. 40 (tied with South Carolina for education) among the 50 states. Still, Florida ranked No. 12 overall in the best business states annual ranking. [Alan Berner/Seattle Times]
  5. For the first time in Florida, a white person is set to be executed for killing a black person.

    State Roundup

    GAINESVILLE — For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man Thursday for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with the help of a drug that has never been used before in any U.S. execution.

    This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Mark Asay. If his final appeals are denied, Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.  [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]