Post office looks at changing hundreds of offices
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – The local post office long has been the center of many American communities, but with people turning increasingly to the Internet to send messages and pay bills, financial losses are forcing the Postal Service to consider consolidating or closing hundreds of local facilities.
The post office is facing a $7 billion loss this year despite a 2-cent rate increase. The agency has shed 150,000 workers since 2000, removed hundreds of mail collection boxes and taken other steps to save money.
Now the agency has sent a list of nearly 700 potential candidates for closing or consolidation to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission for review, and officials say more may be added.
Some of the offices could be closed while others might have some of their functions consolidated with other offices. For example, in some cases preparing mail for delivery may be shifted from Office A to nearby Office B, but the first office still might offer services such as selling stamps and mailing parcels and letters. In other cases one of the offices might be closed.