No word yet on exactly which 2,000 facilities will close, but in our area changes were already being studied.
Right now, there are two local Processing and Distribution Facilities, where mail is collected, sorted and sent out for delivery. There is one in Lynchburg and one in Roanoke.
To save money, the postal service is considering combining all services into just one facility.
"My concern is that Lynchburg's mail will be pushed aside," said one postal worker at a public meeting Monday night at Brookville High School.
One by one, postal workers and citizens voiced concerns to the US Postal Service panel.
"I personally use first class mail all the time, and I'm concerned about my bill paying," said one Lynchburg resident.
"The Union is not happy. The postal employees are not happy," said Terry Wood, President of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 1602.
The postal service is considering moving its processing plant operations from Lynchburg to Roanoke. Company officials say the move will save $1.6 million a year.
"That's the reason we are moving the two together, to fully utilize our equipment and people. We're only partially utilizing both locations, so we are going to move them together to save money," said Robert Cavinder, US Postal Service District Manager.
Officials aren't calling it "down-sizing", rather "right-sizing" for a company that's seen a severe decline in mail volume in recent years.
"Our service and our mail volume is changing," said Cavinder.
With 43 billion less pieces of mail than just five years ago, company officials say changes are inevitable.
But workers, concerned over jobs, service and the future of mail service in Lynchburg, aren't happy with moving any service out of town.
"Lynchburg is a more efficient operation. The numbers show Lynchburg is more productive, it gets the mail out better, has a whole lot less delay than Roanoke. I think the Lynchburg mail will be pushed aside to process the Roanoke mail first," said Wood.
Only 10 employees will be affected by the consolidation. Postal officials say there will be no lay-offs, but employees may be re-assigned.
Post office officials say the general public shouldn't notice any change in mail service, saying the consolidation is mostly a "behind the scenes" move.
But postal employees who spoke out against consolidation think differently. They said there will likely be changes in the delivery service and quality when the mail comes from Roanoke.
Workers also said they are worried this could be just the first step in more postal service cuts, especially since the Postal Service is already announcing more cuts in 2011.
"It happened in other places. They took away the outgoing mail and then once they did that, they did another study and took away the incoming mail too and then took away the plant at that post office," worried Wood.
You can submit written comment on the consolidation by writing to:
CONSUMER AFFAIRS MANAGER
USPS Appalachian District
PO Box 59631
Charleston, WV 25350-9631
Public comments will be accepted through February 8, 2011. After that, it will likely be 60 to 90 days before a final determination on consolidation will be made.