The U.S. Postal Service mail processing center in La Crosse will close this year, an agency spokesman finally confirmed Wednesday.

La Crosse is one of about 55 sites to be consolidated in 2013 in a cost-saving move, postal service regional spokesman Pete Nowacki said in an email.

Collection times could change once processing services are consolidated, Nowacki said. Delivery times should stay the same.

But James Monsour, a mail handler and local union representative, is not so certain that mail carriers will be able to maintain their schedules once drivers have to transport local mail 200 miles to a processing center in Eagan, Minn., and back again for delivery.

“I seriously think that if people think that the mail’s late now, wait until this happens,” he said. “Expect a week or two for delays.”

The closure will impact 11 positions in La Crosse, and some employees may be reassigned as a result, Nowacki said. There are no plans to lay off any career employees.

The financial woes of the postal service have grown more serious over the past decade, with the volume of first-class mail declining more than 20 percent. The agency is also encumbered by its requirement to pay $5.5 billion per year into a fund to cover health care for future employees.

Post office supervisors broke the news of the closure to employees Tuesday night at a mandatory meeting, Monsour said. The announcement came after a visit from a job coach and a social worker who on Monday met with employees to counsel processing center workers on how to transfer to other offices and how to apply for jobs outside the area.

“Emotions are running high,” he said. “People scrambling to find jobs.”

Post office employees received Wednesday the official 90-day notice of the shut-down, Monsour said. This puts the potential date of closure at the end of June, but Nowacki said that may or may not be the case.

The agency has not established an official timeline for the shut down, but the move will take place in two waves, Nowacki said.

(13) comments

trainguy
trainguy

Look at UPS, Fed Ex and DHL, they do the same thing yet they have big profits! Its because there not run by the federal government. When ever the feds do something its full of waste and useless regulations.

kentuckywoman2
kentuckywoman2

IF we had universal health care in this country, it would be a huge burden off the shoulders of business, who arguably should not be in the position of providing health care to its employees anyway. If the USPS didn't have to pay health care for its workers, it might be solvent.

Aside from health care, the USPS could save millions simply by reducing the number of days it delivers LETTERS. Instead of delivering 6 days each week, perhaps that could be reduced to 5 - or even 4. Encourage people to come to the post office to pick up their mail, like everyone used to do.

Who sends letters these days, anyway? Most "letters" today are called "emails". Other than that, we simply pick up the phone and push a few buttons when we want to talk to someone.

Most days we receive only junk mail. I could do without a couple of days a week! I don't think shutting the processing center down will be a wise move.

NavyVet
NavyVet

CJ there is much government waste by the costly government contracts. Fort McCoy was wise to get rid of contractors when they did no longer needed mission done. And LAXTEA well let's just say I believe what I believe you can believe what you believe or agree to disagree

CJ
CJ

It's funny though that they just called back a group of "contract" folks.....................why didn't they hire a group of Federal workers for those positions?????

NavyVet
NavyVet

I believe this world has too high a percentage of people like CJ and LAXTEA who have nothing better to do than whine about how others hurt this world boohoo

CJ
CJ

Vet my first hand experience working on both the Federal and Contract side of things in the past is that the Government waste a LOT of $$$ but yet when things get cut to try and save our tax $$$ the sky is falling................now go listen to your 8 track deck in that Pinto and move on nothing left to see here :)

LAXTEA
LAXTEA

I'm noto whining. The whining is from the gubmint "workers" that are upset their checks are going to stop coming in, so they will have to go out and try to produce a good or service someone will actually pay for.

57
57

The post office is how governmental offices reach out to you. most people pay bills on line USPS is the past

lookout
lookout

Congress passed the bill requiring a 5.5 Billion payment for future workers, which no other organization in the world has to do, our bright minds in congress are shining now. Tea may the mail gods lose all your mail. In turn losing your lack luster credit score followed by late fee's from your bank, which in turn take your rented house away. You can't stand anything that doesn't agree with your narrow minded ways. Give the world a break.

CJ
CJ

Seriously? Who pays a bill by mail anymore??? Amazed all the cries on the furloughs, closings and what not when they are Government employees but not one word locally on multiple job and pay cuts that affected contractors last year and again this year locally at a large federal facility near Sparta............funny how that works.

allcav
allcav

"Who pays a bill by mail anymore???" I'd guess most people still do. Are you displaying a little arrogance? I don't get the part about local cuts.

LAXTEA
LAXTEA

I pay about 1 out of 20 bills by mail. Some of these posters are obviously dinosaurs. My parents are in their 70s and pay most of their bills online I think.

LAXTEA
LAXTEA

I think we'll see getting rid of some of the government (quasi I know) "workers" will be great in the long run for La Crosse. I believe this town has too high a percentage of public sector employees giving us a reckless lack of real world common sense.

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