Tuesday, October 12, 2010

80% of Post Offices Losing Money

Reporter Sean Reilly pens on Federal Times.com, "One reason the U.S. Postal Service is teetering on financial ruin: four in five post offices lose money. And shutting any of the 32,662 outlets down is nearly impossible. As mail volume plummeted 12 percent from 1999 to 2009, the number of post offices, stations, branches and carrier annexes shrank only 3 percent. More than half of those outlets generate less revenue than the average self-service mail kiosk, Postmaster General John Potter said at a news conference this month."

"We need to rationalize our postal-owned locations," Potter said.

"It may need to, but it can't. The agency has been stymied by procedural hurdles, opposition from lawmakers and unions, and the public's emotional bond to an institution that it uses less and less," writes Reilly.

USPS spokesman Greg Frey is quoted as saying, "In July 2009, for example, the Postal Service began studying almost 3,200 stations and branches — which sell stamps and mailing services, but don't have a postmaster — for possible closing. Since then, the list has dwindled to 162. Only two of those facilities have actually closed, although another 25 closings are in the works and more could follow."

According to the article, "...The agency is barred from closing post offices solely to save money. Before closing a post office, officials must consider the impact on the community, on employees, and whether the proposed closing is consistent with government policy. If the Postal Service proceeds, it must provide 60 days' public notice; any customer can appeal the decision to the Postal Regulatory Commission, a five-member oversight panel."

To read the entire piece, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM