JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- The US Post Office will be reopening its branch in downtown Janesville on Monday, November 3rd.
The branch was closed in August after a worker had a reaction to flood-related mold in the building, the Old Towne Mall. The building's ownership immediately addressed the problem.
"We did what needed to be done. We pulled it all out all. We dried it out. We bleached and we sterilized everything," explained Jackie Wood, co-owner of the Mall.
There are no federal or state standards for mold levels, but the post office employs environmental experts who use their own discretion. They were not satisfied with the results of a half-dozen different tests conducted over the past two and a half months.
In the meantime the branch's regular customers have had to use Janesville's main post office on Milton Rd, two miles away.
"We have a large elderly population downtown that relied on the post office to get their mail," said Dan Wilcox, an employee at Alzheimers Support Center.
Most of the businesses in Old Towne Mall serve the senior community and have seen a drop off in their business since the post office closed.
"It really does have a big impact on foot traffic in the mall having people come through for the post office. They might want to combine errands. They might be someone who doesn't have a car, and they might need to walk and want to do multiple things at once," explalined Christine Rebout, Executive Director of the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Several businesses got together and started a petition, demanding the post office reopen. They've collected over a thousand signatures so far.
"(That) blows my mind, but that just shows how many people really were utilizing this location," remarked Wilcox.
Before the petition could be turned in, the post office called Old Towne Mall informing them the latest test results met their standards, and the branch would be reopening.
"(It's) a good day for the old town mall, I'll tell you that!" exclaimed Wood.