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USPS Considering Shutting Offices

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PEMBROKE PINES (CBS4) — The United States Postal Service, in a financial crisis, is considering shutting up to 2,000 post offices nationwide in 2011, according to a report from the Dow Jones news service.

While it is not yet known which post offices will be impacted, the reduction of offices is needed due to falling revenues as people turn to the Internet and e-mail as communications platforms.

“The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations,” said USPS spokeswoman Debbie Fetterly in Pembroke Pines.

Many of the offices that will close will be rural, low-volume sites according to the Dow report, effectively cutting off access to the outside world for rural elderly who may not be able to travel great distances to get their mail.

Fetterly said in an e-mail to CBS4 that there is no immediate local impact on the proposed closures, and won’t be for several months.

“The Postal Service does not have a list of 2,000 identified Post Offices at this time,” she stated. “There is no set number by geographic location. The Postal Service will take into consideration finances/revenue as well as proximity to other Post Offices and other expanded retail access locations such as grocery stores and gas stations that offer postal services.”

It was just last summer when the USPS was looking at closing more than 3,000 units nationwide in order to cut costs.

Closer to home in Daytona Beach city residents converged on a hearing in October to speak out against the closure of a post office there that would save the agency $6 million, but cost the community 100 jobs.

The Miami Herald quoted Fetterly last year saying that 170 local offices remain candidates for possible consolidation.

But the process in deciding which locations will shutter services is a lengthy one, Fetterly said Monday, stating that “The review process will consist of 57 steps and should take between 6 months to a year to complete.”

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