Press-Republican

Business

February 8, 2013

Plattsburgh Mail Processing Center closed

PLATTSBURGH — Nineteen people lost their jobs and others were moved when the Mail Processing Center on Veterans Lane in the City of Plattsburgh closed.

U.S. Postal Service Regional spokeswoman Maureen Marion said some of the 19 positions eliminated in the closure came from retirements.

Another 13 clerks, four mail handlers, four managers and three maintenance personnel were assigned to different locations in the area, she said.

SERVICE

Most of the work will now be done at the Albany Processing and Distribution Center. Marion said the change is not expected to have a significant impact on mail delivery in this area.

“We don’t make these moves with an expectation to downgrade service. It is to reduce costs,” she said.

The Postal Service is moving toward a more strategic network of mail-processing centers, Marion said. It has or is closing 40 to 50 centers across the United States and expects to shutter about 100 more in the next year.

“We must be smart with our resources,” she said.

Marion said some letter-carrier positions could available, so some displaced workers might be able to land one of those.

“We do anything we can to hold vacancies when we know we have changes coming,” she said.

The closure had been discussed for several years. The Postal Service held meetings on the subject in Plattsburgh in 2011.

At that time, estimates showed moving Plattsburgh processing to Albany would save an estimated $3.06 million a year. Marion said that figure is now closer to $3.8 million.

‘MISSED OPPORTUNITIES’

Congressman Bill Owens was among the federal legislators who had pushed to delay the closing of Postal Service facilities last year.

“I am extremely frustrated with the Postal Service’s inability to cut costs and raise revenues and even more so that they are taking out this failure on rural communities by closing facilities like Plattsburgh’s mail-processing center,” he said by email.

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