SAN LUIS, Ariz. – U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva pledged his backing for this city as they press their appeals to the U.S. Postal Service to provide home mail delivery for residents.
But at a time when the Postal Service is tightening its belt, the congressman whose district includes San Luis is offering no assurances its residents will have their mail brought to their homes anytime soon.
San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez raised the subject in November, saying the growing Arizona border city is now large enough to justify home delivery. And, he said, bringing mail to homes would ease traffic congestion at the city's post office, where residents now must go to pick up their letters and packages.
Then this month, when Grijalva made a visit to south Yuma County, Sanchez and the city's attorney, Kay Marion Macuil, met with him to seek his help in getting home delivery for residents.
"We know that it's hard because of the budget situation of the Postal Service, but it's something that San Luis needs, and we are going to keep insisting," Sanchez said following the meeting.
Grijalva told San Luis officials that their appeals are complicated by the budget cuts in the Postal Service.
"Right now the battle is just to maintain the services we have," he said in an interview. "For example, in Tucson we've been fighting for two years to keep open the main (post office) building. And in smaller communities, post offices have been closed."
Nonetheless, Sanchez said San Luis has the congressman's backing in upcoming talks in which the city will ask the Postal Service to at least provide mail delivery to cluster boxes, if not house-to-house delivery.
"We aren't a tiny community anymore," he said. "We represent nearly 35,000 residents. I believe something can be done in spite of the problems the Postal Service has. It has been done in other cities."
Postal Service officials have said they will meet with city officials to discuss their concerns.
The city's post office is located on Main Street and Juan Sanchez Boulevard, at what is the intersection of the city's two most heavily traveled streets.
The intersection was identified as a traffic bottleneck in 2014 in a traffic study by Arizona Department of Transportation. The study recommended relocating the post office to ease congestion, but Sanchez and other city officials say heavy traffic could be alleviated at the intersection by providing home delivery.