By Greta Mittereder – May 5, 2015
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The United States Postal Service processing center in downtown Youngstown will remain open, at least for now.
It was set to close in July, but that has been delayed and a new closure date has yet to be determined. Postal service officials stress that plans to consolidate the Youngstown operation with Cleveland has not changed.
“The ultimate plan remains the same. A full consolidation will happen, but the postal service is taking a measured and deliberate approach to transitioning operations to result in a successful outcome,” said David Van Allen, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.
The Postal Service completed the first phase of the project in 2013 with the consolidation of outgoing mail processing. They then planned to complete the second phase, consolidation of incoming mail processing, by this summer.
“This is just the effect of the closures that happened on April 12. Akron’s mail went up there and they just couldn’t handle it. So, in fact, we are doing some of Akron’s mail now,” Jim Varner, president of the American Postal Workers Local 443 said.
Varner hopes Congress can stop the closure by recommending the Postmaster General keep the facility open.
“This is good news for us. Any delay of course is better than an immediate closure. We are hoping that we get down long enough that we can get Congress to act to permanently stop these closures,” Varner said.
He said the earliest the closure could happen is fall.
“Contractually, they can only move folks every 90 days, so this will put us into October or so before they can do this again,” Varner said.
Similar changes in Toledo were also postponed.
The closures and consolidations are part of comprehensive plan to make the postal service operational. Volume is down 2 percent and First Class mailing, which is the most profitable, is down 53 percent over the past 10 years.