A new contract postal unit in Waxahachie held its official opening Wednesday, with members of the Chamber of Commerce, local residents and officials gathered for the ribbon cutting.

The unit is located at Money Market, 600 N. U.S. Highway 77, Suite B, and will offer many of the services that a regular postal office offers such as selling stamps, shipping, express mail and certified mail. Features that won’t be offered include money orders, passports, registered mail and post office box rentals.

“Most people are glad that it is here because of convenience and that they don’t have to wait. Rarely are there any lines. There’s no difference in prices – it’s the same as a regular post office,” Money Market owner David Mitchell said.

“They approached me about becoming a contract unit about a year ago and it is something that the post office is doing more and more of,” he said. “This feature is going to be a permanent part of operations here and I hope that we will see more customer traffic because of it.”

A unit must meet two criteria to open: it must be located in a high-growth area and there must be genuine need for it. It takes about 10 days to train staff members in postal operations. The new unit had been open about six weeks prior to the ribbon cutting.

“The Postal Service has been doing these contract units for the last 15 years and 150 square feet is all you need to have one placed in a business. We provide all of the signage, computers, products and counters to the location,” CPU coordinator Sandra McCallister said.

“In the Dallas district, we have 85 contract units. We’d like to add another unit because this is a high growth area, maybe on the other side of U.S. 77.”

McCallister said a successful CPU makes more than $100,000 each year. Units in McKinney made more than $1 million in sales last year, while one in Allen brought in more than $500,000 in sales.

The unit’s opening is in conjunction with the renovations about to start at the main postal facility on College Street.

“Currently, crews are finishing up the top coat on the new parking lot and the trailers that will be used for temporary operations will be here on Friday. It will take about three to four weeks before those 75-foot trailers will be ready for customers to use,” said Timothy McCumber, officer in charge at the Waxahachie Post Office.

“We are very excited about having this new unit open up,” he said. “It will provide a needed convenience for a lot of people.”

The new unit is open for business from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

E-mail Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com