/ Modified may 27, 2015 7:32 a.m.

Grijalva: Tucson's Cherrybell Mail Center May Not Close

Postal Service moves status from closing in July to 'to be determined,' congressman says.

Cherrybell post office spotlight

Tucson's Cherrybell post office may not close in July as scheduled, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva said Tuesday.

Grijalva, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, other elected officials and Tucson businesspeople have been pushing to keep the facility open ever since the Postal Service announced its closure in 2011 as part of a money-saving effort in the financially beleaguered service. An estimated 250 postal workers would lose their jobs.

Grijalva, D-Ariz., said in a press release that the status of the closure had been changed from this July to "to be determined."

“I welcome news that the Cherrybell Processing and Distribution Center will likely not shut down in July, as had previously been planned,” Grijalva said in the statement. “Any delay gives us time to further make the case that the Cherrybell facility is vital to our community, and an unacceptable cut as USPS consolidates across the country.”

He and McSally, R-Ariz., have argued with others that Cherrybell, as a sorting and distribution center for Tucson area mail, is key to business in the community.

McSally's office said Tuesday she and Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres, a Democrat, will tour the Cherrybell Processing and Distribution Center Wednesday for an update on its operations.

The alternative to Cherrybell, already in practice by the Postal Service, is to ship all outgoing Tucson mail to Phoenix for processing before it is distributed, even mail going to Tucson addresses. That has meant a delay of at least one day in mail delivery, businesspeople have said.

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