Saturday, November 19, 2011

COLUMBIA POST OFFICE: May add jobs from Illinois facility closure

Controversy surrounds possible move, $3 million annual payroll 

COLUMBIA, 11/19/11 (Beat Byte) --The U.S. Postal Service may close a Quincy, Illinois mail sorting facility and move the operations to Columbia. The 60-70 workers at the Quincy facility average 12 million pieces of mail per month and make $50,000 - $60,000 a year. That's an annual payroll of $3 million, some of which may come to Columbia. 

A USPS study supports consolidating the operations, and postal service officials will take public questions about it Nov. 22 in Quincy.

Nationwide, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe wants to close 252 sorting facilities and hundreds of small post offices to eliminate at least 35,000 jobs. Congress has proposed a much larger cut, eliminating up to 100,000 jobs.

The plan is controversial. In Quincy, it would end next-day mail delivery. Around the country, it will cost jobs. "These consolidation studies have created a lot of uncertainty in communities across Illinois that are already struggling during these difficult economic times," U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. told reporters. 

People interviewed about the closure say Columbia is the best choice among alternatives. "If we had to be in any other sorting center, Columbia would probably be the best. We want to stay away from places like St. Louis and Peoria where they're notorious for being very, very slow," Quincy print shop owner Mike Nobis told KHQA news.

(Originally reported in the Nov. 14 email Beat Byte)

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