Local/Regional News
2:44 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Mail Processing Center On Nandino Boulevard To Close

Officials with the U.S. Postal Service have been studying closing more than two hundred fifty mail processing centers across the country as part of a cost-cutting move. On Thursday they confirmed that the Lexington facility on Nandino Boulevard will be one of them.

"Today we just announced the intent that we would like to close that facility. Right now we are under a moratorium. We have an agreement with Congress, back in December we announced that we would not close any mail processing facilities or post offices until after May 15th. We are abiding by that agreement that we have with members of Congress, so again we are just making our intentions heard", said Postal Service spokesman David Walton.

The move will affect one hundred employees at the Nandino Center, but Walton said most won't be losing their jobs.

"These are difficult times for the Postal Service, and we've had to make these difficult decisions but it's also important to point out that in other industries when an announcement like this is made, it's usually coupled with a pink slip. But, that's not how we work. We're going to make sure we take care of our employees and make sure they stay gainfully employed."

Other Kentucky cities losing their mail processing facilities include Bowling Green, Campton, Elizabethtown, Hazard, London, Paducah, and Somerset. Walton says the plan is to have all of the mail processed and sorted at one in-state location in Louisville, or out of state in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Walton says the closures will have an impact on the timeliness of mail delivery.

"By changing the service standard on a first class piece of mail to two to three days, that allows us to realign our network. So, chances are, if you would drop a letter in blue collection box after this happened, your letter might not get there the next day. It may take two days."

Walton says the cash-strapped agency has been studying various cost-cutting strategies to make up for a 25 percent decline in First Class Mail volume since 2006. It is projected to lose another 1.4 billion dollars this year.

Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler on Thursday released a statement in reaction to the closure announcements:

"I am extremely disappointed by the decision of the United States Postal Service to close the mail processing facility in Lexington and will do everything I can to reverse this decision. I acknowledge the Postal Service faces pressures to downsize in this tough economy, but closing the Lexington facility is absolutely the wrong way to deal with its fiscal problems and could harm our region in the long run."

The Sixth District Representative also questioned the methodology used in determining the decision to close Nandino.

"In addition, citizens have brought to my attention many concerns about the accuracy of information gathered for the study which was used in the determination. I have again demanded the Government Accountability Office review the study used to make this decision, and have also requested a review by the USPS Office of Inspector General to ensure the decision is justified." © Copyright 2012, wuky