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Public Meeting To Discuss Plans To Close Local Mail Processing Center

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - In order to avoid an estimated $100 billion loss over the next eight years, the U.S. Postal Service wants to shut down several mail processing centers.

As it stands 252 processing centers, including the one in Dallas, would close. The proposed plan would consolidate the Dallas operation with either the mail processing center in Fort Worth or Coppell. There are currently 487 postal processing centers nationwide. As a result of the closings, 35,000 jobs could be cut.

In Dallas, the decision to eliminate the Processing Center and Post Office along Interstate-30 near Sylvan Ave. would eliminate 980 jobs.

For postal customers, that means mail would have to travel a greater distance from local post offices to the processing center.

The decision to end Dallas County mail processing is one some customers may not be happy so the U.S. Postal Service held a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss the proposed consolidation in the Student Auditorium at Mountain View College, which is located at 4849 West Illinois Avenue in Dallas. About 100 people attended.

The US Postal Service says closing the Dallas Processing Center will save the USPS $39 million.

County Judge John Wiley Price and Texas State Senator Royce West were in attendance. West questioned the logic behind closing the Dallas postal center and moving it to Fort Worth or Coppell  because those cities are considerably smaller than Dallas.

West believes Dallas should remain open because it has a larger impact on residents who live in Dallas.

"I think it's a sad day when we begin to look at closure of the postal facility in the ninth largest city and say that we're going to take it to the suburb," West said.

The post office is struggling to keep up with e-mail, online bill paying and services provided over the internet and says the turn toward electronic communication has left the Postal Service with an excess of employees and equipment in its mail processing operations. Some of the current mail processing centers are referred to as "redundant".

Click here to view a summary of the proposal and presentation materials.

During the meeting Postal Service managers are expected to give on overview of the reasons for the move and listen to input from the community. The USPS will be accepting public comments on the study for 15 days after the meeting -- until December 22.

You can also mail comments to:

Mgr of Consumer and Industry Contact
951 W. Bethel
Coppell, TX 75099-9631

Nationwide, some 35,000 jobs are on the line.

In addition to closing 252 of the 487 mail processing centers and eliminating thousands of jobs, the USPS is also looking to lower delivery standards.

Right now the post office guarantees that first-class mail will arrive at its destination within one to three days. The change would guarantee delivery within two to three days. And next day mail will no longer be guaranteed because it will take longer for a first-class letter to reach a processing center.

The USPS is a quasi-public agency -- meaning that even though they're self-funded, they do require congressional approval in order to make major changes.

"We don't take any tax money. We don't want any tax money," said U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue.

The changes could take place as early as next spring.

The post office already announced a 1-cent increase in first-class mail to 45 cents beginning January 22.

"A lot of people are upset," said Korey Moore, a main postal center employee. "They're not giving us answers. You ask questions and nobody knows the answers. So it's very stressful and it's the wrong time of year to be stressed out."

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