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Getting mail across Toledo soon will mean trucking it up to the Detroit area and back, and with that comes earlier drop-off deadlines at local letter boxes.
U.S. Postal Service workers have been replacing pickup-time stickers on most of the roughly 370 blue mailboxes across the city in anticipation of the switch Tuesday, when initial mail sorting now done in Toledo will be shifted to Pontiac, Mich., said Dan Davis, the local postmaster.
New pickup times will be as much as two hours earlier at many letter boxes not located at post offices, Mr. Davis said.
Mailboxes formerly marked with 5 p.m. pickups now will have their last pickup at 3 p.m. At the mailbox in front of The Blade’s downtown building, the noon pickup time will be changed to 10:45 a.m.
“All of the boxes will get new stickers,” Mr. Davis said.
Mail still can be taken to post office mailboxes or counters as late as 5 p.m. — 4:30 at some lighter-volume branches — to make the cutoff for transport to Pontiac in time for sorting, return, and next-day delivery in Toledo, he said.
The changes are a consequence of the Postal Service’s plan to phase out the Toledo Mail Processing Center and transfer most of its work to Pontiac.
The exception will be mail formerly processed in Lima, which has been handled in Toledo since that facility’s closing three years ago. Lima’s mail will go to Columbus now.
Four members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation, including U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) plus the state’s two senators, sent a letter Monday to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe asking for reconsideration of the Toledo center’s phase-out, which is expected to be complete next year.
The facility closing is part of the Postal Service’s broader plan to streamline operations in the face of mounting financial losses and declining volumes of first-class mail as customers switch to electronic means for communication, bill-paying, and other functions formerly conducted through the mail.
David Van Allen, a regional Postal Service spokesman, said the Tuesday switch to processing Toledo mail in Pontiac won’t result in any layoffs in Toledo because the facility’s work force already has been reduced by attrition and transfers.
Employees “have been working a lot of overtime” to make up for those reductions pending the work being moved out, he said.
Mr. Davis, meanwhile, said he has hired 60 additional letter carriers and customer-service staff to speed up mail deliveries in Toledo.
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