Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

February 24, 2012

Postal changes will add a day to delivery

If the Postal Service plan is approved, your mail will still get to its appointed rounds in Lockport, but it will likely take a day longer.

 The U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with planned cuts to 264 mail processing centers around the nation, including the Buffalo Mail Processing Operations. Under the proposed plan, with the William Street operation closed, mail would be sorted in Rochester.

The cities of Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda now get one-day service. Residents who mail a letter on Monday can now expect it to arrive on Tuesday. For the first time in 40 years, the plan will eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.

For example, Monday through Friday, Lockport mail is sent to Buffalo, sorted and returned to Lockport. On Saturdays, mail from the 14094 and 14095 zip codes is first sent to Rochester, sorted and sent back.

Mail sent from around the country is first sent to Buffalo for sorting, and then to the Niagara County cities. It takes an extra day.

“Allow an extra window of time,” Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokeswoman for the Buffalo Post Office said. “They will turn two processing centers into one. Mail across town will take two days, not one.”

Under the current process, mail is turned around overnight, but that is no longer sustainable. “It would affect everyone throughout the country,” Mazurkiewicz said. “It would be a national thing.”

Roughly 125 post offices on the Niagara Frontier truck the mail to the Buffalo hub site on William Street. Once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation of the Buffalo P&DC will cease. That mail would be sent to Rochester to be processed.

Saturday mail delivery will continue, unless changed by Congress.

The Postal Service has experienced a 25 percent decline in first-class mail volume since 2006, and receives no tax dollars for its operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, postal products and services.

“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,” said Buffalo’s Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”

In December, the Postal Service agreed to impose a moratorium on closing or consolidating post offices and mail processing facilities prior to May 15 to give Congress and the administration the opportunity to enact an alternative plan.

“The steps we are taking now will put the Postal Service on a strong financial footing for decades to come,” the agency said in a statement.

Contact reporter Bill Wolcott at 439-9222, ext. 6246.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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