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Postal proposals under fire

December 2, 2011

POCATELLO — The United States Postal Service is looking into closing the mail processing operation at Pocatello and moving it to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pocatello and all of Southeastern Idaho is part of the Salt Lake Postal District.
Another proposal is to extend the delivery of first class mail from overnight to two-to-three day delivery.
"There would be no changes in retail and other services," said Salt Lake postal district manager Ken McArthur. "There would be no changes in acceptance time."
Minor changes would be made to the collection of mail, McArthur said. There would be no changes to delivery of mail. Local postmarks would be available through retail units.
One person attending the meeting asked, "How long would it take to deliver a letter from Salmon to Salmon?"
"Two days," was the reply.
"These proposals would impact customers and employees," said McArthur. These proposals would see a savings of $3,830,110 annual savings in the Salt Lake District.
Across the nation, the postal service is proposing closing 252 mail processing operations for an estimated savings of $3 billion each year.
"We want to keep this organization going for a long time," McArthur said.
On Oct. 1, the mail processing operation in Twin Falls was closed. If the processing center is closed, Boise would be the only processing center in the state of Idaho.
"Was there anything that could be done to save the Twin Falls processing center?" one person asked.
"No."
The efficiency of the postal service is tested every day of the week by IBM, McArthur said.
An employee of the post office pointed out that in the last 127 days of processing, the Pocatello facility has been ranked number one 48.2 percent of the time.
A number of people suggested the postal service send more volume of mail to Pocatello to be processed because of the efficiency of that facility.
"Please reconsider any thought you have of doing this."
"What can we do to help?"
"Help us with revenues so we don't have to do this stuff," McArthur said.
This proposal is just that right now. It will first go before a regulatory commission which is appointed by the president.
The decision of the regulatory commission will go before the postal board of governors, unions, managers and associations before a final decision would be made, said Pocatello postmaster Bruce Wiese.
Wiese said a decision could be made by March 2012, and then a time frame would be determined, depending on the decision.
Comments from the public must be postmarked by Dec. 14, 2011. Write:
Salt Lake District
1760 W. 2100 S.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84191-9631

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