Monday, Jul 16, 2018
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Postal Service to hold hearing to address closing

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Under pressure from members of Congress, the U.S. Postal Service will hold a public hearing to look into why it wants to move mail processing operations out of the Toledo facility to Detroit and Columbus.

The meeting is set for 7-9 p.m., Dec. 29, at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo.

Facing huge deficits, the independent government agency announced a study in September aimed at consolidating operations. That study called for closing the Toledo processing facility on South St. Clair Street, affecting some 400 jobs, as well as five post offices in Toledo.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) last week said the U.S. Postal Service should hold a public hearing in Toledo before it closes the Toledo mail processing facility.

And U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) asked for an investigation of the closure process by the Government Accountability Office.

Miss Kaptur welcomed the five-month delay in the closure of the Toledo Mail Processing Plant.

“In this economy, we do not want hasty decisions that could destroy the livelihoods of 400 productive workers in northern Ohio," she said.

Miss Kaptur said Congress should "address the Postal Service’s financial crisis as soon as possible, so that we can prevent unnecessary layoffs and mail delivery delays in the future.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service agreed to delay the closing of 252 mail processing centers — including the one in Toledo — and 3,700 local post offices, until mid-May.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said in a telephone interview with The Blade and other Ohio news organizations Wednesday that there were fears Toledo would be closed in January.

Mr. Brown said he has introduced legislation that would do several things to help the Postal Service gain stability. He said Congress should free the postal service from having to pre-fund its pension obligations for 75 years. He called that a “unique” requirement that costs the mail service more than $5 billion a year.

Mr. Brown also said the post office should be allowed to do more retail services, including selling licenses and shipping beer and wine. The bill would also preserve six-day delivery.

“This legislation will address the Postal Service’s fiscal troubles while maintaining jobs and high-quality service in Ohio and throughout the nation,” Mr. Brown said.

“The postal service has been very restricted in what its allowed to do under law. It’s not been given opportunities to generate revenue,” Senator Brown said.

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