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Post office withholds details on new location

MT. VERNON, Ill. — Dozens left a meeting in Mt. Vernon Monday night disappointed after the U.S. Postal Service refused to release where the Park Plaza post office would be relocated. 

Currently the post office is the only business left in the Park Plaza strip mall off of Route 37 because other parts of the building are condemned. 

Mt. Vernon city leaders and residents were under the impression the post office was going to release the information on the new location during a public hearing Monday night, but instead were told the news would have to wait at least another six weeks. 

"We really did anticipate they would identify the location that we have been discussing with them," city manager, Mary Ellen Bechtel said. 

Back in the fall of 2018, the city told the post office they were going to have to relocate because Milano Rail would be redeveloping the area. 

"They will be demolishing the Park Plaza shopping center and then rail will be built into that facility," Bechtel said. 

Charles Lamonte was one of the dozens that showed up to hear about the new location, but was upset when it wasn’t released. 

"We were told the post office was going to be releasing their location for the new facility," Lamonte said. "We were also told we could soliciting comments about that location," Lamonte said. 

Vee Spikes from the U.S. Postal Service said they are currently taking public comments for the next 30 days about the move of the post office, but not about the actually location. 

"We can’t comment on something we don’t know anything about," Lemonte said. 

Mayor John Lewis said he is mad that he can’t tell taxpayers where their money is being spent. 

"Two to four weeks ago we (the city) were asked to spend taxpayer money on the drawings of the new location, but we couldn’t tell the taxpayer where we we’re spending their money," Lewis said. 

Some residents told News 3 the new location would be just off the downtown square by 10th and Jordan Street, but the post office is not confirming any location. 

If so, the new building would cost roughly $700,000 to $900,000. 

The money would come from a bond issued in 2012 and from tax increment financing (TIF).

Consumers are the ones paying taxes like sales, food and beverage, diesel and telecommunications, which make help make the payments on the bond.

Leaders from the post office said they will release the exact location by the middle of May. 

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