Since word got out that the Rolling Meadows post office will be closing at the end of May, residents and businesses in town have written letters and signed petitions -- all in an effort to keep the storefront office open.
The Rolling Meadows postal branch at 3266 Kirchoff Road is expected to close Saturday, May 26, after more than 50 years, because "the Postal Service and the owner of the Rolling Meadows building were not able to come to an agreement on lease terms," said Arlington Heights Postmaster Elizabeth Wulf in a news release.
The small post office, in a strip mall, is convenient for residents who may be shopping elsewhere in downtown Rolling Meadows. Parking is plentiful and close to the front door, making it easier for seniors.
"This kind of blows my mind," Tom Coombs told the Rolling Meadows City Council this week.
Coombs is among the residents and businesses who have a P.O. box at the Rolling Meadows office. Those boxes will not be transferred to the Arlington Heights post office or any other facility, so users will have to get new boxes with new addresses.
"That's a tremendous inconvenience to me and other businesses or people in Rolling Meadows who will have to send out hundreds of pieces of mail to notify everyone of the change," Coombs said.
A change of address form is available online at usps.com or from local post offices to assist customers in notifying their correspondents of the change, but Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Ballantine said this will still be a "major problem" for residents and small business owners in town.
Coombs said he is also concerned that the post office will become another vacancy in Rolling Meadows, which already has many empty storefronts.
Carol Grewe, owner of Travel Network next door to the post office, has been helping with a letter-writing campaign to save the post office. She said she has been sending about 20 letters a day to a U.S. Postal Service leasing agent but has not gotten a response.
Calls to post office officials were not returned Thursday afternoon, and city officials say their calls haven't been returned, either.
Mayor Tom Rooney said the city has been fielding phone calls and emails from residents asking the city to do something. He said the decision is out of his hands.
"Ultimately what this comes down to is a business decision between a landlord and a tenant," Rooney said.
He did add that many city officials have joined in the letter-writing campaign and are encouraging others to let the post office know how they feel.
Rooney, however, is not confident the campaign will make a difference.
"We have not gotten any indication that they are looking at changing their mind," Rooney said. "But that doesn't change the fact that we're going to try and do what we can."
Ballantine agreed that the situation may not change, but she's still going to try.
"My theory is at least let's try," Ballantine said. "If we don't try we'll never know and it doesn't work at least we can say we gave it all we could."
Though the Arlington Heights Post Office at 909 W. Euclid Ave. is the nearest and the one Postal Service officials are recommending to Rolling Meadows customers, full retail services are also available at the Meijer Store at 1301 Meijer Drive in Rolling Meadows.
Other post offices and branches within five miles of the current Rolling Meadows location are those in Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights and the Woodfield branch at 651 Mall Drive in Schaumburg.
"I really think this is going to hurt our town," said Grewe, who has also gone around to parks, sporting events and stores in town to talk to people about getting behind the campaign.
"I'm just a resident and a business owner in Rolling Meadows and I'm trying to save the post office," she said.