A few weeks ago, rumors circulated that the Marion Post Office would be closing as part of the U.S. Postal Services’ effort to save money.
While postal officials say no such closure is planned, they do acknowledge their may be some changes on the horizon in how services are delivered.
“We are looking at possible back room consolidations of offices, but it would be virtually transparent to the customer,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, the Western New York communications coordinator for the postal service. “Marion is one of the offices under consideration, but no final decisions have been made.”
Back room consolidations are also under consideration for Clyde and Walworth, she said, but noted “this is a fluid list as all operations are under scrutiny to see if we can realize savings.”
How would a back room consolidation, where route driver carriers from one post office go to another to pick up their mail, save money?
“By consolidating carriers, we pool resources and cut down on transportation costs,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Mail from two offices now only needs to go to one stop. The major change is for the employees. Carriers start and end their day at a different location, but customers still get their mail delivered to them with little difference.”
The time of the delivery may change, but other than that, customers aren’t affected, she said.
Additionally, distribution from both offices can be combined in the one office, allowing the postal service to pool clerk resources too, she said.
The post offices, however, would still offer the same window and box holder services. The only difference would be that a carrier route driver, and not the postal service driver, would bring the mail back and forth from the consolidated post offices.
“It allows us to be more efficient with our operations with little impact on customers,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Once again, we are looking at the possibility of doing these back room consolidations at many offices as a way to cut costs, but no final decisions have been made on any one yet. We might know by the end of the month.”
In 2010, the postal service lost $8.5 billion, abut $23 million a day. Mail volume has declined by 43 billion pieces, mainly due to the rise of the internet e-mail growth in the past five years.
The postal service receives no tax dollars. It relies solely on the sale of postage, products and services to pay operating expenses.