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Ironton Post Office on study list for closure, consolidation

The Ironton Post Office is on a list of nearly 250 facilities that the United States Post Office is considering for closure or consolidation in an effort to save the organization approximately $3 billion each year, the federal agency announced Thursday.

Other efforts at saving money include reducing mail processing equipment by as much as 50 percent, dramatically decreasing the nationwide transportation network, adjusting the workforce size by as many as 35,000 positions, and revising service standards for First-Class Mail.

Besides Ironton, nine other Ohio post offices are on the list.

“We are forced to face a new reality today,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a prepared statement. “First-Class Mail supports the organization and drives network requirements. With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic. Since 2006, we have closed 186 facilities, removed more than 1,500 pieces of mail processing equipment, decreased employee complement by more than 110,000 through attrition and reduced costs by $12 billion.”

The organization cited mail volume for its financial woes. Mail volume has declined by more than 43 billion pieces in the past 5 years and is continuing to decline, according to the statement.

First-Class Mail has dropped 25 percent and single piece First-Class Mail — letters bearing postage stamps — has declined 36 percent in the same timeframe, and nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. The decline has created substantial excess capacity within the postal processing network.

The mail-processing network itself was constructed to process and deliver First-Class Mail within a one–three day window depending on where the mail is sent and delivered.

With the proposed change, the new service standard would become two–three days, meaning that on average, customers would no longer receive mail the day after it was mailed, according to the statement. If implemented, the change in service standards would allow for significant infrastructure changes to be made across the nation.

“Our employees continue to do a terrific job for our customers and are among the most dedicated workforce anywhere.

These are difficult times and our announcement today does not reflect on their commitment to service,” added Donahoe.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its opera A complete list of the facilities on the study list can be found at the post service’s website, www.usps.com/.