Gulfport residents want their voices heard loud and clear by the U.S. Postal Service. They're circulating a petition to show support and keep the Community Post Office in the Gulfport Beach Bazaar - where it's been since 1952.
"The support kind of snowballed," Angela Lagan said.
Biff and Angela Lagan bought the Beach Bazaar five months ago and say while they own the store, they do not have the contract to run the postal unit in the back of the building.
Angela Lagan says the contract to run the post office belongs to the old owners of the bazaar and in order for them to take it over, they must apply for the contract. Lagan says they've found out that there is another bid for the Gulfport Post Office and it's coming from South Pasadena.
"I'm surprised that someone from South Pasadena would put in a bid," Lagan said. "Given the significance of the history the post office has in Gulfport", she added.
Lagan says she spoke to community members and discussed the idea of a petition with her husband. They decided over the weekend to circulate it and allow people to sign it. They will include the signatures with their bid application.
"The community knows how important is it to keep the post office in Gulfport," Lagan said.
As of Monday night more than 250 signatures were collected at the store alone. Supporters also have a petition at the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce.
The petition reads:
"The signers of this petition strongly support keeping the Contract Post Office in its current location at 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport FL. The loss of this facility, where it has been located since 1952, would cause undue hardship to our community."
Lagan says it's not a legal document, just a form to show the local support.
"We knew the community would support us. We expected this response," Angela Lagan said.
Lagan says they plan to overnight their bid Tuesday afternoon. Petitions will be available on Tuesday until about 2 p.m. at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce and the Gulfport Merchants Association's booth at the Tuesday Fresh Market.
Lori Rosso, President of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, put out a call for help on social media and in her blog on Gulfport Patch Monday morning. According to Rosso's blog, "The Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce has sent a formal request to the United States Postal Office urging the seamless continuation of this branch."
The U.S. Post Office and Gulfport Beach Bazaar is located at 3115 Beach Boulevard S.