Lexington's mail processing center back on chopping block

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The U.S. Postal Service's processing and distribution center in Lexington is back on the chopping block.

The cash-strapped Postal Service has it on its list of 82 facilities nationwide to close in 2015. This particular center is 24th on the list. In a letter to customers, the postal service says the closures would begin in January and be completed by fall 2015.

The move would mean mail from the Lexington area would be sent to Louisville or Knoxville for processing. The Lexington center located at the Nandino Boulevard Post Office was on a 2011 closure list and a loss of 184 jobs but was spared a year later.

In 2012 and 2013, the postal service went on to consolidate 141 other mail processing facilities which it says created a savings of $865 million. In its announcement about 2015 cuts, an addition $750 million in annual savings is expected.

"For employees who may be impacted by the upcoming consolidations, the postal service remains committed to finding reassignment opportunities in other locations," David Walton with the USPS in Louisville told WKYT Tuesday afternoon.

But the American Postal Workers Union isn't so sure that'll be the case.

"The postal service is saying no one is losing positions and that's a lie because they will be losing positions," said Randy Bradley, the local president of the American Postal Workers Union. "And as a matter of fact, we already have lost positions."

Over the past three years, the postal service recorded financial losses of $26 billion as it deals with a decline in First-Class Mail volume, higher costs, and significant debt.

"We believe strongly that this phase of network rationalization will establish the low-cost, technology-centric delivery platform necessary to serve the mailing and shipping industry for decades to come," the open letter to customers reads.

Many people, like Pam Heck who lives in Lexington, say they aren't fans of the closure of this Lexington processing center.

"January is when they're talking about it? Oh my. Okay," said Pam Heck, who lives in Lexington. "No, not good. Not good for Lexington at all."

"If you're waiting on a check in the mail, it's going to take you three to four days longer to get it, so it has the potential to impact everyone," said Melissa McCoy, who also lives in Lexington.

The American Postal Workers Union tells us they are writing congressmen and senators and passing out petitions to stop the closure of the center.

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