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Published: Friday, 8/15/2014

Senator seeks delay in closing Toledo site

82 postal processing centers targeted

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio petitions Senate leaders to keep mail processing centers open. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio petitions Senate leaders to keep mail processing centers open.
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Toledo’s mail-processing center is set to close next year, but half the U.S. Senate is trying to prevent the center and dozens more like it from shutting down.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) was among 50 senators to write to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, asking them to prevent the closure of 82 United States Postal Service mail-processing centers.

The Toledo processing plant on South St. Clair Street is among those to be eliminated. There are 244 positions at the plant, according to a USPS spokesman.

The Postal Service shut down 141 mail-processing facilities in 2012 and 2013 to close massive budget shortfalls; a spokesman said the Postal Service lost $26 billion in the past three years.

Those consolidations saved about $865 million annually, according to the Postal Service. Toledo’s plant was on the list for the initial round of closures but was later removed. It is now part of a second round of consolidations. The Postal Service projects it would save about $750 million annually through the new consolidations.

Continued decreases in first-class mail, along with increased operating costs and “legislative mandates and significant debt pressures,” have caused the operating losses, the USPS spokesman said.

Mr. Brown and colleagues asked for time for Congress to create comprehensive Postal Service legislation, and said the closures would eliminate about 15,000 jobs.

“Closing Toledo’s mail-processing facility will deprive the community of hundreds of good-paying jobs, making it difficult for families to make ends meet,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “Immediate action needs to be taken so workers can keep their jobs and continue providing reliable service for the city.”

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

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