Delaware mail processing center one step closer to closure

This week, the U.S. Postal Service scheduled, and then rescheduled, a public meeting to discuss the idea of shutting down the Hares Corner mail processing center. However, now it seems the closure’s already a done deal.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper (D-Del) released a statement Friday regarding the closure of the New Castle facility.

“Obviously I am disappointed to learn that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to move forward with the closure of the Hares Corner processing center in Delaware. It is painful any time a community faces the loss of a postal facility – be it a post office or a processing center – and I know that communities in Delaware and around the country are struggling with the ramifications of the Postal Service’s proposals,” said Sen. Carper, according to the statement.

Along with the statement, Sen. Carper included a copy of a letter he wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, dated Dec. 23, 2011. In the letter, Carper writes, “I am writing regarding the recent announcement that based on the Area Mail Processing (AMP) study regarding the USPS Delaware Processing and Distribution Center at Hare’s Corner, this facility has been slated for closure.” Carper goes on to ask the agency to postpone the initial public meeting, set for Jan. 4, 2012, to a later date.  Carper chairs the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service.

Will public still have a say?

The U.S. Postal Service rescheduled the meeting to Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. inside William Penn High School in New Castle. Sen. Carper however, would like to see that date pushed back even farther, so elected officials, stakeholders and community members can better prepare.

This is news to many, considering the U.S. Postal Service’s press release announcing the meeting states, “no final decision has been reached,” concerning Hares Corner. According to the release, the public meeting is “to discuss [the U.S. Postal Service’s] proposal to move mail processing operations from the Delaware Processing and Distribution Facility into the South Jersey Processing and Distribution Center.”

The Postal Service says a study of Hares Corner began Sept. 15 of this year to determine whether consolidating operations with the South Jersey facility would be cost-effective.

Currently, the U.S. Postal Service is looking at closing and consolidating 252 mail processing facilities nationwide, as the agency stares down bankruptcy. The Postal Service blames a decline in mail volume due to the recession and more online activity.

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