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USPS issues updated list of possible closures/consolidations

Tractor-trailers back into the U.S. Postal Service’s Albany Mail Processing Center on South Slappey Boulevard Thursday. The USPS has released its list of facilities it will consider closing. Albany and Valdosta made the list.

Tractor-trailers back into the U.S. Postal Service’s Albany Mail Processing Center on South Slappey Boulevard Thursday. The USPS has released its list of facilities it will consider closing. Albany and Valdosta made the list.

ALBANY — In an effort to stave off insolvency and to save up to $3 billion each year, the U.S. Postal Service will be scrutinizing its worldwide operations, officials said Thursday. Included in the review will be whether to close mail processing centers in Albany and Valdosta.

With online commerce expanding and correspondence via email and social media booming, revenues continue to be in decline for the USPS, particularly in the most lucrative area — first-class postage.

On Thursday, USPS administrators released a list of processing centers that could be closed and operations consolidated.

Stephen Seewoester, a spokesman for the USPS, told The Albany Herald Thursday that possible closures were limited to processing centers in Albany and Valdosta and would not impact existing post offices in either town.

The impact on those who work at the processing centers, however, could be significant.

Seewoester said that 50,000 people currently are employed in the processing centers that are being studied nationwide. Closing the centers would mean layoffs for many of those people.

And that has drawn the attention of federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

Bishop on Thursday signed on to a bipartisan letter from House members to Postal Regulatory Chairwoman Ruth Goldway. The lawmakers said they were concerned that the potential closure of about 3,700 postal facilities would disproportionately hurt rural communities, small businesses and senior citizens.

In the letter, the legislators suggest using some of the

$50-$75 billion that they say Postal Service employees and customers have overpaid to the U.S. Treasury during the last three decades to help address some of the agency’s solvency issues.

“Thousands of working families, entrepreneurs, seniors and veterans in Southwest Georgia heavily rely on the services provided by our nation’s Postal Service,” Bishop said Thursday. “The widespread closure of postal facilities in our rural communities has the potential to adversely impact our region’s economic development and possibly impair the ability of Georgia businesses to fully utilize their inter-state commerce capabilities.”

According to the Postal Service, the organization is working to stave off bankruptcy. Later this month, the organization is congressionally-mandated to make a $5.5 billion payment toward retiree-benefits and healthcare plans. Postal officials have said a delay in making that payment, as some have proposed, would not be enough to stave off the fiscal crisis the service faces.

“The Postal Service is in a crisis today because it operates within a restrictive business model and has limited flexibility to respond to a changing marketplace,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs earlier this month.

“We need the ability to operate more as a business does. This applies to the way we provide products and services, allocate resources, configure our retail, delivery and mail processing networks and manage our workforce.”

Comments

TrixibelleBento 3 years, 2 months ago

Okay, if they're going to consolidate Albany locations, will we have more people working at the main facility on Slappey, or are we still going to have 1-2 people manning the entire facility no matter how many people are in line?

I will miss the downtown location. The folks there are polite and you can get in and get out in a minimal amount of time. I can hardly wait to stand in a line 20 deep for the entire city and having the same 2 folks trying to deliver decent customer service.

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shiversd 3 years, 2 months ago

Is there a link to the list?

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chinaberry25 3 years, 2 months ago

There are long lines at all the post offices in Albany. Why not close these small towns 3 miles apart. Funston, Hartsfield spitting distance apart. Putney almost never anyone there. What really should be done is to allow first class mail to go to the private sector. Then we would not need the post office. I think the post office does a good job except the need to buy and use them. Always crowded at peak times , Although you can print postage off on your computer. Still there is a big need for post offices in larger towns so why take them away.

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rural_country_girl 3 years, 2 months ago

I have a problem with closing the small towns so that the bigger towns can have 2. My county seat is in Americus. I work in Cordele and live at the lake. It would not be convenient for me to drive from Cordele to Americus everyday to get my mail. There are a lot of senior citizens and people that do not drive into town everyday and it would be most inconvenient not to have a local post office.

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J.D._Sumner 3 years, 2 months ago

The post offices aren't closing. The processing centers are.

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Muunlite 3 years, 2 months ago

Well they could start out by forcing them to take a pay cut. They are and always have been over paid. Same as the autoworkers...overpaid. There is no reason these people should make this kind of money and many don't even have a high school diploma. Come on think logically.

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JamaPit 3 years, 2 months ago

I am a postal employee with a four year degree. There are more of us than you would think. As a USPS employee, I can tell you that we are paid a living wage. The reason behind that is the integrity of the mail. How many of you put checks and amazingly, cash, in cards, letters etc. Your letter or card gets to the recipient intact, with the gift inside. Privatizing the first class mail would cause your rates to skyrocket. Try going to a private carrier and see what it costs to mail a one ounce letter.
The American public has contributed greatly towards the economic woes of the postal service. How many pay bills by on line banking, who mails a letter anymore. The people who will hurt the most from this situation is the senior citizen who doesn't have access to computers or cell phone. Most of the public can buy stamps at your local grocery or stationary store. We all better hope the postal service doesn't go under. Could you imagine the economy if 600,000 people become unemployed. Not to think of all the businesses that make their living by doing buisness with the USPS.
Sorry if this posting is intelligent. I work for the postal service!! And I am proud of it!

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