Today, Ron Barber issued the following statement regarding the US Postal Service's announcement that it plans to close Tucson's mail processing center, Cherrybell:
"As someone who has lived in Tucson for over 50 years, I regard the Postal Service's decision to close our mail processing center as troubling and irrational. Tucson is growing. Our metropolitan area now includes over a million people. As for the rest of Southern Arizona, the idea that a piece of mail going from Bisbee to Sierra Vista needs to travel the 200 miles to Phoenix and back defies common sense. This decision will slow down timely delivery of mail for the residents of Southern Arizona. This decision is also short-sighted--it will only exacerbate the problems the USPS faces, and further drive away customers.
"The decision will hurt our local economy. Local businesses and not-for-profits who deliver their mail to the Tucson Center get a discount on their postal costs. They'll lose this discount when Cherrybell closes. In this difficult economy we do not need to increase any costs for small businesses, which are the major drivers of our local economy.
"I had been hopeful that the Postal Service would reverse this decision and work to find solutions that make sense for our community. Today's announcement, however, shows that the Postal Service is disregarding the voices of the many who have spoken against this closure. That is unacceptable.
"If the voters of Southern Arizona's 8th District elect me to Congress, I will work to ensure that Tucson retains a mail processing center to properly serve Southern Arizona."