Thursday, May 27th, 2010
By Janie Southard
Local mail will travel to Toledo
  The U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center in Lima will begin shutting down operations July 1 in preparation for a complete relocation to a Toledo distribution center in January.
This move will not affect local post office employment. What will be affected is where local mail is processed.
Eventually, all local mail that is shipped to Lima for processing will instead go to Toledo.
The closing of the Lima facility comes following a consolidation feasibility study begun last fall by the U.S. Postal Service to determine ways to cut costs. The study focused on efficiency in the use of space, staffing, equipment and transportation, in a nutshell, how long does it take to process the mail.
The postal service has experienced a drastic decline in mail volume at the Lima plant over the past year.
"During this period of the year, last year Lima had processed 141 million pieces. This year it's just 113 million," David Walton, director of public relations for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Postal Service, said today. "This consolidation is expected to save $2.2 million."
Laura Kesson, president of the Lima Chapter of the American Postal Workers Union, was not available for comment this morning.
When the study began, Kesson said sending "458" zip code mail to Toledo would take up to three days turnaround time. Not so, Walton claims.
"Some mail in the region travels further and is turned around in a day with no problem," he said, citing mail from Port William, which is sent 94 miles to a Cincinnati PDC. The distance from Lima to Toledo is about 70 miles.
Walton said the postal service intends eventually to sell the Lima processing center building.
Of the 54 employees impacted in Lima, none of the "career employees (full-time with benefits) will lose jobs," Walton said. "Seventeen of those employees are eligible for early retirement. Career employees may be reassigned to Toledo or other vacant positions in accordance with their collective bargaining contract."
A Celina post office employee said he was not aware of the switch to the Toledo sorting center until he heard it on the news this morning.
"We informed our employees who will be affected by the relocation yesterday afternoon so they would not hear it first by rumor," Walton said this morning from his Louisville, Ky., office.
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