Postal Service confirms plans for Duluth closureThe U.S. Postal Service confirmed Thursday it plans to close processing centers in Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Mankato. The work from those plants will be consolidated with centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The U.S. Postal Service confirmed Thursday it plans to close processing centers in Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Mankato. The work from those plants will be consolidated with centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
It didn’t list specific closing dates. But employees at the Duluth facility were told Wednesday that the center could close in 120 days.
Postal Service officials told employees that the Duluth center could close as soon as June if Congress approves requested changes to the service’s delivery standards. The standards include changing the length of delivery time for first-class mail from one to three days to two to three days.
Closing the Duluth center would cost about 60 jobs, local officials have said, although the number could be lower because some employees already are transferring to other positions or retiring.
The closure would mean a letter from one Duluth address to another would make a round trip on Interstate 35 before delivery.
The Postal Service unveiled a plan in September to close 252 of its 487 processing centers, a move officials said would save $3 billion annually. The Postal Service also is looking at closing 3,700 smaller post offices and ceasing Saturday mail delivery to help cut costs.
The agency said it needs to cut $20 billion in costs by 2015 to make up for a 50 percent reduction in first-class mail in recent years. In November, the agency formally filed for permission to make the changes with the federal agency that oversees major postal decisions.
Thursday’s news release said operations aren’t paid for by tax money but by the sale of postage stamps, products and services.
Postal Service spokesman Pete Nowacki says about 230 positions will be affected in Minnesota and attempts will be made to reassign employees to vacant positions or other facilities.
In Wisconsin, the Postal Service said it will move the Wausau processing and distribution facility operations to Green Bay. Processing and distribution in Eau Claire and La Crosse will be moved to St. Paul. Kenosha mail processing will be moved to Milwaukee and Portage processing will go to Madison.
The Postal Service said up to 144 positions will be affected in Wisconsin.