Delaware postal facility added to national hit list

The crisis in the United States Postal Service had largely spared Delaware. Now comes word that the postal facility on Quigley Boulevard in New Castle could close.

That facility will be one of 250 targeted for closing today. It operates as a mail handling facility. Operations done there will now be done through the South Philadelphia processing facility. There is a retail portion to the Quigley Boulevard facility that is not part of today’s announcement. No retail outlets in Delaware will close. Six facilities in New Jersey will close. Ten will close throughout Pennsylvania, two of them are in Philadelphia and its suburbs.

Regional Spokesperson Ray Daiutolo emphasizes this is just part of a process. “This is a study, and it will take a few months to complete,” he said.

There will be hearings before a final determination is made next year. Daiutolo did add those hearings would probably come in February or March.

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“But when we get two-third’s the way through the study and all signs point to consolidation then we will schedule hearings at that point,” Daiutolo said.

He thought in that scenario hearings would be held by the end of this year or the beginning of 2012.

There are about 500 people affected by these cuts, but Daiutolo said it was premature to comment on possible layoffs or transfers.

Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal services was disappointed, but acknowledges changes need to be made.  

“Like the recently released list of 3,700 post offices also being studied for closure, today’s announcement is just the start of an official process that must be reviewed by both the Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission. This review process involves a public comment period and additional studies on the impact this decision could have on the affected community before it can move forward. I will be following the review process closely to ensure that it is transparent and fair to employees and customers — both business and residential — in Delaware that depend on the Hares Corner facility”, Carper said.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahue made the announcement. There are currently 487 distribution centers. The Hares Corner facility is part of a group that closes more than 50% of those operations. Donahue said the postal service needs to save $20 billion by 2015. This move will save $3 billion.

Carper has said in the past the postal service may need to end Saturday delivery. He has also said the postal service would run out of operating money by winter if changes aren’t made.

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