As the U.S. Postal Service makes plans for deep cuts in order to survive many are wondering what that will mean for Lexington's mail processing center. Monday night the Postal Service held a public meeting giving people a chance to weigh in about plans to consolidate the center with those in Louisville or Knoxville.
They lined up for the chance to make their voices heard. Postal officials listened calmly often insisting that they weren't there to debate. Nonetheless, those who took their turn at the microphone wanted answers. "The net effect on this community is going to be a loss of employees in the Lexington area of some 280 people," American Postal Worker Union representative Barry Marshall said, "which means a loss of revenue to Lexington area businesses of over $6 million a year."
Postal leaders have said dramatic nationwide cuts that would include shutting down the processing center at the Nandino Post Office in Lexington are essential for the Postal Service to survive. They say changing consumer behavior like the rise in online bill-paying have lowered revenue, and the proposed Lexington closure is part of a plan to save billions of dollars across the country.
Postal officials have said they will consider the public's input prior to a final decision. However, some in the audience suspected the closure is practically a done deal and that the whole forum was an exercise in futility. "It's a step they're required to take under their own manuals to close it," union representative Vance Zimmerman said, "and I think honestly the only way if people want to get involved to try to stop it, call your Congressman. Tell them that you want Lexington. Call your political officials, and put pressure on political officials."
The public has until December 13th to submit additional written comments. You can send them to:
Manager, Consumer and Industry
P.O. Box 31631
Louisville, KY 40231-9631