Visit the McKenzie River Reflections website
February 14, 2013
Cost reductions will impact area Post Offices
MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- Last May, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to move ahead with a plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The plan included up to 140 consolidations through February of 2013.
“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network. To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload,” according to Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service. “Our current plan meets our cost reduction goals, ensures seamless and excellent service performance throughout the implementation period, and provides adequate time for our customers to adapt to our network changes.”
The Postal Service began consolidating operations during the summer – which mostly involved transferring mail-processing operations from smaller to larger facilities. Those actions reduced the size of the Postal Service workforce by approximately 13,000 employees and, when fully implemented, will generate cost reductions of approximately $1.2 billion annually.
The agency’s belt tightening hasn’t been visible to many of its customers, particularly in rural areas. Under a new review currently underway, that’s likely to change.
The Postal Service has established a review process for certain Post Offices known as the POST Plan. Both the Vida and Blue River post office were among those in Oregon evaluated under the POST program. The Postal Service has been soliciting community input via surveys asking people to comment on the best way provide postal services to those communities. Surveys were sent to 667 residences and post office boxes in the Blue River area. 538 were sent to Vida residences and P.O. boxes. At this point, the Walterville Post Office is not being evaluated under the POST Plan.
Survey questions include options for reduced hours of operation at the offices to possible closures. Other choices include partnering with contractors to operate post offices inside existing businesses or switching to just rural delivery.
Larry Loumena, Post Plan Coordinator in Portland, said in the mailings that, “After receiving the results of this survey, the Postal Service will examine the responses and, unless the community has a strong preference (more than 60 percent) for conducting a discontinuance study.”
In addition to this survey, the Postal Service will hold two public meetings. The first is scheduled for 5 p.m. on March 1st. at the Living Water Family Fellowship at 52353 McKenzie Hwy. in Blue River. The second is set for March 13th. at the Vida McKenzie Community Center, 90377 Thomson Lane in Vida, also at 5 p.m.
Loumena said local management will share the results of the survey at the meetings, answer questions, and solicit input regarding the time of day the post offices will be open. “Although survey results will be known and shared, the Postal Service will not make a final decision regarding this office until after the public meeting,” he added. “This will enable the Postal Service to obtain all community input and opinions, from both the surveys and the meeting, before making a final decision.”
© 2013 McKenzie River Reflections
McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from STPNS