WASHINGTON – Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, today announced that after months of discussion with the U.S. Postal Service, the Manasota Postal Distribution Center (PDC) will remain open at least through the end of the year.
“I am thrilled that Manasota will be able to keep its doors open and continue to provide residents in our area with timely, reliable postal service.” Buchanan said. “We have been working closely with local stakeholders to impress upon USPS the importance of Manasota to our local economy and our community. I am pleased that USPS arrived at the right decision.”
Glenn Hayes, President of the American Postal Workers Union, Manasota Local 7136, praised Buchanan’s efforts in helping to keep the facility open.
“I would like to thank Congressman Vern Buchanan for vigorously opposing the reduction in service to the American public; especially those in the Sarasota and Manatee County area. This has been an ongoing battle to keep affordable and reliable mail service to our community, for the last 7 years” Hayes said. “The Manasota mail processing facility on Tallevast Rd, provides good paying jobs that benefit the surrounding communities, with their tax dollars. Closing of this facility would cause those jobs to be eliminated in this area and degrade service to the 342 zip codes. It is imperative that local residents stay involved in keeping this American institution, intact, affordable, and accessible to everyone regardless of income, or geography.”
“We the members of the American Postal Workers Union, and employees of the United States Postal Service thank the American public and the honorable Vern Buchanan for supporting us in this endeavor” Hayes added.
Buchanan noted that according to recent Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies, the postal service could save nearly twice as much money annually by transferring mail processing operations from the Fort Myers PDC to Manasota and Tampa as opposed to consolidating the Manasota PDC into the Fort Myers PDC.
Buchanan also stressed that under the consolidation proposal, the mail would have to travel from his district, north to Tampa and then south to Fort Myers, adding hundreds of miles before it’s finally delivered. This is an impractical plan that would have resulted in a two to three day service standard for First-Class Mail, a significant delay to his constituents who currently enjoy next day local service.
Furthermore, Buchanan argued that his congressional district was among those that were hardest hit by the recession. The proposed consolidation would have threatened the fragile economic recovery, resulting in the loss of an estimated 209 local jobs and making the area less attractive to businesses who would be more likely to locate near a mail processing center.
The Manasota Plant was on a list of facilities that were scheduled to be consolidated this year. The plant is still a part of the Postal Service’s Phase 2 Consolidation plan and has not been cancelled but it has been temporarily postponed and will not occur this year.
“We will continue to make our case that the Postal Service would save more money and maintain reliable service and good paying jobs for our constituents by transferring work from the Fort Myers facility to the Manasota and Tampa distribution centers,” said Buchanan.