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Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Postal services combine

Bremen carriers will work from Minster

By William Kincaid
NEW BREMEN - Mail carriers at the New Bremen and Fort Loramie post offices soon will begin working out of the Minster office, United States Postal Service (USPS) corporate communications representative David Walton says.
He stressed that both the New Bremen and Fort Loramie post offices will remain open for retail services and post office boxes.
"There just won't be carriers (there)," he said Wednesday.
Walton said carrier relocation is part of the USPS's "delivery unit optimization" initiative to increase efficiency and save money by delivering the mail of three communities to one post office.
The carriers will pick up mail at the Minster post office before delivering to their respective towns, Walton said.
Minster Postmaster Jack Billing said no exact date has been set for the transition but added it won't take too much preparation at his office.
Postmasters at the New Bremen and Fort Loramie post offices were tight-lipped Wednesday and would not answer any questions, including how many carriers are employed at each location. Both postmasters referred the newspaper to Walton.
Walton said no jobs will be lost, but some clerks could be relocated to Minster or another office.
"We've never laid off an employee in our 235-year history," he said.
Walton said by having a centralized office in Minster, delivery trucks will only have to make one stop instead of three. He said this sort of consolidation in happening at post offices across the U.S. to save money. Although, no other offices in the Grand Lake area are being affected, he said.
The USPS lost $8.5 billion last year and is expected to lose more than $6 billion this year. In the last five years, the USPS has seen a decrease of 43 billion pieces of mail and has been cutting costs each year, he said.
At a New Bremen Village Council meeting this week, village solicitor Steve Smith said some income tax revenue will be lost because of the mail carriers now working out of the Minster office.
Village administrator Jeff Pape expressed hope this change will not result in a further slowdown in mail service like relocation of the mail processing center from Lima to Toledo. This move was also made to cut costs.
Walton said he did not have an exact date on when the consolidation would occur but said the process would be seamless.
"Customers shouldn't even notice it," he said.
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