Mail sorting could move to Grand Junction |

Mail sorting could move to Grand Junction

Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The U.S. Postal Service is launching a 60-day study of its mail processing facility in West Glenwood to determine if some operations could be more efficiently handled in Grand Junction.

Postal Service spokesman Al DeSarro said if some operations are moved, the agency would “absolutely do everything” to reassign workers to other postal service jobs in the Glenwood Springs area. “No layoffs would be planned,” he said.

The processing facility, located behind the Glenwood Springs Mall, employs 37 people in a round-the-clock operation that handles an average of 300,000 to 320,000 pieces of mail per day. The facility is a collection point for 32 post offices that use ZIP codes that begin with 816, in a region bounded by Vail, Aspen, Parachute and Dinosaur.

The new round of efficiencies is aimed at moving some mail-sorting to facilities that have more advanced sorting equipment, such as the Grand Junction facility.

“We’ve done about 30 of these studies so far at mail processing facilities. We want to see how we can save without impacting service,” DeSarro said.

“In the last three years, most post offices in the country have suffered a 20 percent decline in mail volume,” he said. “Last year in the Postal Service, we had an $8.5 billion budget deficit. That’s in spite of more than $10 billion in cost saving gained through consolidating carrier routes, losing 100,000 positions through attrition, and using more automated sorting equipment.”

Even when the economy fully recovers, the Postal Service does not expect mail volume to return to previous peak levels, and is projecting annual deficits for the foreseeable future.

“As a result of the volume loss, we have more facilities, equipment and people than we need to process a declining volume of mail,” said Colorado and Wyoming U.S. Postal Service District Manager Selwyn Epperson. “We have to reduce the size of our network because we are no longer receiving enough revenue to sustain its cost.

“One way to do that is to consolidate operations where feasible. It makes logical business sense given the economic realities. We’re only doing what any company would do when it’s hit with a 20 percent decline in its business,” Epperson said.

The service is also asking Congress to approve its proposal to end Saturday mail delivery, which would save up to $5 billion per year.

DeSarro noted that the Postal Service relies entirely on postage and stamps for its revenue, and does not receive tax dollars.

He said if the study determines that some operations should be moved to Grand Junction, the Postal Service will hold a community meeting in Glenwood Springs to take comments. In the meantime, the Postal Service is accepting written comments on the proposal.

Comments can be mailed to the U.S. Postal Service, Consumer Affairs Manager , 7500 E. 53rd Place, Denver, CO 80266-9631. Comments are not being accepted via e-mail.

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