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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Area staff unsure of Postal Service offices' fate

By Betty Lawrence
The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing a number of post offices in Ohio as a cost-saving measure, post office officials announced this morning.
Listed for possible closure are more than 3,000 post offices in nearly 400 U.S. cities, including 11 in Ohio. Postal managers and executives in the Cincinnati District Office plan to meet next week with congressional representatives to discuss branches that are at risk of closure in their district.
Post office officials blame their financial hard times on more people using electronic bill paying, an overall decline in the volume of mail and the economy.
In Mercer County, Celina Postmaster Paul Joseph said he has no information of any local closings.
"We're in the Cincinnati District, and the rumor train is running. I haven't heard of any closings," Joseph said this morning.
He has seen a definite decline in mail, he said, adding his office has been reconfiguring and streamlining both rural and city routes.
"We are tightening our belts," he said.
St. Marys Acting Postmaster Brian Schroeder said he is unaware of any closings in Auglaize County.
"I haven't heard anything, not at my level," he said, adding he also has seen a decline in pieces to be mailed.
"Post offices are being affected nationwide by a decline in the volume of mail," he said. "The economy is slow right now, so we don't have as many mailers and people are using the Internet more to pay their bills."
Along with closing offices, U.S. Postmaster General John Potter in March asked Congress for the right to reduce the mail week from six days to five, for a savings of $3.5 billion. Such a move must be approved by Congress.
There are 32,741 post office branches and locations in the U.S.
- The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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