ALBANY, Ga. — Officials charged with creating jobs and recruiting industry voted Wednesday to send a letter to Georgia’s Congressional delegation asking that Albany’s Postal Processing Center — and its 100 jobs — be spared from the USPS’s chopping block.
The U.S. Postal Service is trying to avoid insolvency by shuttering postal facilities across the country and ridding itself of thousands of employees.
Board members of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission voted Wednesday to send a letter to Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie, and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Atlanta, encouraging action on their behalf to keep the Albany processing center open.
“We obviously have a desire to keep those 100 or so people employed, and we believe that if that facility closes it will have a detrimental impact on local mail delivery,” Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem said Wednesday.
The vote came a day after the Postal Service agreed to hold off on closing any more post offices or mail facilities until May 15, 2012, a move meant to allow Congress time to work on a plan to save the service.
The Postal Service agreed to voluntarily enact a moratorium on closures after a series of talks with lawmakers. Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said the service agreed to the deal, and he called it a challenge to Congress to “put up or shut up.”
The news of the moratorium comes just a week after the Postal Service announced a plan to slow down first-class mail, which would have closed some 250 mail processing plants nationwide and eliminated 28,000 jobs.
“If you don’t like what the postal service has put forward (to cut costs) by closing processing facilities and post offices and eliminating jobs, then come up with a better approach,” Durbin said. “It’s a challenge we need to accept, and this agreement with the Postal Service gives us that opportunity.”
The Postal Service issued a statement saying that it agreed to delay all closings and consolidations, but it will continue to review the facilities slated for possible closure during this period.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.