Burbank residents appeal Glenoaks post office closure

A group of Burbank residents is protesting the planned closure of the Glenoaks post office, which postal officials said would save the cash-strapped agency $740,270 over the next decade.

However, one postal official said this week that the decision to close the station should stand.

Nine Burbank residents filed separate appeals against the U.S. Postal Service’s decision in June to close the Glenoaks branch and reassign its two employees, citing the inconvenience of “slow and tedious” lines and lack of parking at nearby alternatives.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has until Oct. 18 to decide on the appeals.

Postal officials have proposed consolidating the Glenoaks branch at 1634 N. San Fernando Blvd — including its post office box service — with the downtown Burbank Post Office, located about a mile away at 135 E. Olive Ave.

Customers will still be able to keep their P.O. Box number and zip code, according to Richard Maher, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Additionally, the agency plans to sell the Glenoaks branch building, which is valued at $1.2 million, records show.

Appellant and Burbank resident Sharon Galluccio, who visits the Glenoaks post office several times a month, argued that she doesn’t own a computer and, therefore, can’t take advantage of the agency’s online services.

“It seems counterproductive to close a post office and shuttle box holders to a very busy post office with limited parking,” said another resident, Charlotte Costan, in her appeal.

In her appeal, Marlene Keables Benda suggested simply reducing hours of operation to save money.

But closing the Glenoaks post office has been on the agency’s radar for two years. The station’s revenue in recent years has steadily declined as access to postal services has expanded to grocery stores, pharmacies, office supply stores and online, Maher said.

In fiscal year 2012, the station’s revenues dipped to $877,111, from $1.2 million four years earlier.

Tracy Ferguson, who was appointed by the Postal Regulatory Commission to objectively analyze the validity of the closure on behalf of the public, called the appellants’ arguments “not persuasive” in a report she issued to the commission on Thursday.

In a phone interview, she said the agency is “hemorrhaging money” and residents have 50 locations within a 5-mile radius that offer postal services.

“I understand the petitioners are upset, but they have multiple options,” Ferguson said. “They live in a metropolitan area.”


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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