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Downtown Spokane post office to stay open

The U.S. Post Office has decided it won't move out of the downtown branch on Riverside Avenue and Lincoln Street in Spokane. (Dan Pelle)

Postal Service officials have changed their minds and will keep open the downtown Spokane Riverside Avenue post office.

Spokane Postmaster Karen Fairlee said the decision was made at the U.S. Postal Service’s Seattle office. She was not available on today for details on the decision, said Sharon Wesselman, the Spokane USPS customer relations manager.

In August the Postal Service said the Riverside Station would close and be relocated elsewhere downtown. Several downtown carriers using it would be relocated to the Liberty Park Post Office.

The announced plan meant all downtown retail and post office box operations would relocate in early 2012.

The decision to close the office would have reduced the annual $350,000 lease paid to the General Services Administration to use the 102-year old Riverside station. The post office has about 1,600 boxes there, and rents about 1,000.

The postal service uses space on the first floor and a loading dock in the basement. The plans to shut down the post office would have no impact on the federal Bankruptcy Court, which operates on upper floors of the building.

In addition to the carriers, about 15 other postal service employees work in the branch.

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