Postal Service will close Youngstown facility

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown’s mail processing operations will merge Cleveland’s facilities, the U.S. Postal Service said Thursday.

Approximately 500 employees work at the Youngstown facility; about 87 could be involuntary reassigned to other locations within a 100-mile radius.

“The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” said Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan in a statement. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”

A timeline for the closure has not yet been established.

In December, the postal service had decided on closing the Youngstown facility and transferring its responsibility to Pittsburgh, according to internal documents acquired by The Vindicator.

But later that month, the U.S. Postal Service agreed to postpone closing any post offices or mail facilities at the behest of Congress.

The postal service, however, said it will continue to move forward with consolidation plans until Congress says otherwise.

Consolidation is contingent on the outcome of a proposal to revise existing service standards, including the delay of first-class mail.

Declining mail volume is one reason the postal service has racked up multi-billion dollar deficits the past two years.

The most substantial reason, however, is the government-mandated retiree health-care benefit prefunding program.

Every year, the postal service starts with a deficit of $5.5 billion, as stipulated in the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, which requires USPS to fund retiree health-care benefits 75 years in advance.

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