Upham's Corner Online

Upham's Corner Post Office Still on Death Row

Posted: December 13, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Upham's Corner Post OfficeIn a surprise move, the U.S. Postal Service, announced a moratorium after meeting with members of Congress.  No post offices or mail processing plants will be closed during the moratorium period which ends May 15, 2012.  However, the study on which facilities should be closed will continue.  The Upham's corner post office is still not safe. 

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes.  With nearly 32,000 Postal Service-managed retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail.

Yet it is on the brink of insolvency.  Already this year, it has accumulated $5.1 billion in debt and faces a deadline to make another $5.5 billion payment to pre-fund health care retirement benefits for future retirees due later this week, as required by law.

"The U.S. Postal Service must reduce its operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to return to profitability," said David Williams, vice president, Network Operations. The changes are being proposed to address an estimated 47% drop in regular mail expected over the next 10 years.

Upham's Corner Post Office The size of the existing Postal Service network is dictated by the current overnight transit time in existing service standards.  Since the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, the only way to reduce costs is to decrease the service standards thereby allowing a decrease in personnel, equipment and the number of mail processing facilities.

On September 15, 2011 the US Postal Service announced plans to review its mail processing network in the hopes of reducing costs.  The Postal Service is currently considering the elimination of overnight delivery and studying the possibility of closing 3,700 mostly rural post offices and 252 mail processing facilities.

The Upham's Corner Discontinuance public meeting was held November 17, 2011. 

The Postal Service is proposing, through the rulemaking process, to move First-Class Mail to a 2-3 day standard for contiguous U.S. destinations which would allow a cost savings of $2.1 billion through the elimination of hundreds of mail processing facilities and the 28,000 postal workers by the end of next year. 

On December 12, several Senators met with the U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr. and expressed concern over the impact of reduced service and the loss of thousands of jobs.

As a result the Postal Service agreed to a moratorium which ends May 15, 2012. 

They will delay all closings and consolidations but will continue to review the facilities slated for possible closure and will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.  

This will give Congress time to work on a plan to save the service. “The Postal Service hopes this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation,” the Postal Service said in a statement.

Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that reforming the Postal Service and getting it out of its debt spiral is his first priority when Congress comes back in 2012.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on different bills to save the Postal Service.  The Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahue has criticized those bills as not going far enough, although he said that elements of both bills could work.

While union groups cheered the news of the moratorium, Rep.  Darrell Issa, a California Republican who crafted legislation to save the Postal Service, said the service has "caved to political pressure" in agreeing to the moratorium which, he said, "hastens the crisis that is bringing the USPS to the brink of collapse."

“The Postal Service hopes this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation,” the agency said in a statement.

Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that reforming the Postal Service and getting it out of its debt spiral is his first priority when Congress comes back in 2012.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on different bills to save the Postal Service.  The Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahue has criticized those bills as not going far enough, although he said that elements of both bills could work.

While union groups cheered the news of the moratorium, Rep.  Darrell Issa, a California Republican who crafted legislation to save the Postal Service, said the service has "caved to political pressure" in agreeing to the moratorium which, he said, "hastens the crisis that is bringing the USPS to the brink of collapse."

A moratorium is just a delay.  The Upham's Corner Post Office is still scheduled for closure.

In a statement from the Discontinuance Coordinator, Michael Foley, none of the timelines for decisions have changed.  If a decision is made to close the UC Post Office,  it would still be closed but a probable April closing would be delayed until later in May.

Make a commitment to let your voice be heard.   Unless the community makes sufficient "noise" to convince the Postal Service that it should stay open, our post office will be closed.

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