Annie Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org
A business up and running since Grand Island's incorporation could be closing one of its doors. The United States Postal Service has its eyes on Grand Island's processing center and its 66 employees.
Needing to bring the USPS out of the red, officials say will take restructuring. The USPS made it known they were looking at cutting brick and mortar postal offices in places like Rockville and Boelus, but this proposal would change the way the postal service and central Nebraskans do everyday business.
"Despite reducing costs by $12 billion and 110,000 career employees in the past five years the United States Postal Service still lost $8.5 billion last year and we project to lose $10 billion this year," said Brian Sperry, USPS communications specialist out of Denver.
USPS is set to lose $10 billion if they don't do something drastic, said Sperry. The proposed change would add a day to traditional first class delivery. The mail would be delivered in a 2-3 day window instead and customers would no longer will receive overnight delivery.
The reason for the extra day lies in Grand Island and North Platte.
"We're looking at moving our North Platte operations to Cheyenne Wyoming….and our Grand Island processing center to Omaha, Nebraska," he said.
It's a proposed consolidation of 250 mail processing centers nationwide including five right here in Nebraska. Those under consideration are Norfolk, Grand Island, North Platte and Alliance, and a center in Omaha.
Cindy Johnson, Grand Island's Chamber President, said she has been paying attention to the postal service's situation. She sad, "it's no surprise they would be looking at efficiencies, we are of course very concerned they would be closing our Grand Island processing center."
In total, if closed 66 employees in Grand Island would be affected, 49 employees would be hit in North Platte.
"Every attempt will be made to re-assign affected employees to other available positions," said Sperry. He added that this is a difficult situation for the USPS to be in, but one that they have to tackle head on to stay afloat.
"Like any company that has lost 25 percent of their business, we need to reduce the size of our infrastructure…or we cannot afford…to keep our business running."
The United States Postal Service has already made a final decision to consolidate a processing center in Lincoln, which would cause a 26 job reduction, but create 15 positions in Omaha.
Sperry made it very clear that if the study comes back in favor of closing or consolidating the five processing centers, the USPS would hold community meetings to gain extra feedback before possibly moving forward.
Johnson said the Chamber would be vocal during those meetings if they do in fact plan to move forward.
But, if they do decide to close the processing centers, Sperry said at the earliest residents could be looking at February/March of next year for any changes. In the meantime, there will be no changes to regular service.
Even though first class mail would potentially change, Sperry said that priority mail and other additional services would stay on their same delivery schedule.