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Springfield mail processing center to consolidate with KC office

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Last edited 12:38 p.m., Feb. 23, 2012

The U.S. Postal Service has decided to consolidate the Springfield mail processing center at 500 W. Chestnut Expressway with a Kansas City branch, a move expected to save the postal service more than $7.5 million a year.

“The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan said in a news release. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the postal service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”

Dates for the transition have not been announced, but once operations are transferred, Springfield processing operations would cease. Until such a time, services will continue as normal, the release said. According to Springfield Business Journal archives, the consolidation move would eliminate 57 local jobs. Retail operations would continue at the West Chestnut Expressway branch.

In December, the postal service agreed to a moratorium on closing or consolidating the processing centers - as well as 3,600 low activity post offices - prior to May 15. The early notice has left room for Congress to approve measures that could potentially remove the need for the USPS to consolidate or close roughly 250 processing centers nationwide.

"Implementation of this consolidation is contingent upon the outcome of pending rulemaking for a proposal to revise existing service standards. This announcement is provided in advance so that appropriate planning and notification can be made in accordance with existing employee agreements," the news release reads.

If processing operations in Springfield cease, the USPS expects first-class postage mailed within the city would take two to three days.

The USPS also announced it will consolidate the Cape Girardeau processing center with one in St. Louis.

In September, the USPS announced it would consider the closures, saying it has faced a significant decline in first-class mail volume in the last decade. Last week, an updated five-year plan was submitted to Congress that calls for raising the cost of first-class stamps 11 percent to 50 cents and adopting a new USPS-administered health care program, among other provisions. Proposed cost-cutting measures call for a $20 billion reduction in annual costs by 2015, rising to more than $22 billion by 2016.
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