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Updated: 11:27 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 | Posted: 9:07 p.m. Friday, July 11, 2014

Senator: Keep Dayton mail processing center open

By Breaking News Staff and Jen Roppel

Staff Writer

DAYTON —

Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is among 50 U.S. senators who asked Washington Thursday to block plans to close and consolidate postal service facilities, including a Dayton mail processing center.

Across the country, 15,000 jobs would be eliminated if the U.S. Postal Service closes the 82 facilities, according to the lawmakers' letter. Locally, 300 jobs would be moved from Dayton to Columbus.

The processing and distribution center, located at 111 E. Fifth Street, could close as early as January.

"This is the best facility, right here ... in Dayton, Ohio ... keep it here, and not in Columbus," said 81-year-old Danny Wright.

"I think that anything that can be done to keep it open and keep the guys working ... yeah, I think that's a good effort," said Vivian Mayho of Dayton.

Brown stated in his letter that closing the Dayton mail processing center would: "Deprive the community of hundreds of good paying jobs -- making it difficult for families to make ends meet." Brown also called for "immediate action" to ensure "reliable service for the city."

The letter also asked the Senate appropriations committee and financial services subcommittee to present legislation halting future closings and consolidations of postal service facilities in 2015.

EARLIER

Dayton's mail processing facility will close next year, the United States Postal Service recently announced.

The processing and distribution center, located at 111 E. Fifth St., is closing as part of a plan to consolidate 82 facilities for a projected annual savings of $750 million.

It has not been released when the Dayton facility will shut down, but it could be as early as January 2015. Operations would be consolidated into a facility in Columbus, according to the post office.

The Dayton center initially was slated to close in June 2013 as part of the second phase of what the USPS is calling its "network rationalization." The closure was put on hold in March 2013 with no restart date noted until the announcement made late last month.

Dayton's facility is one of four in Ohio -- the three other centers are in Akron, Toledo and Youngstown -- to have operations shut down and moved to either Cleveland or Columbus.

The postal service previously said the consolidation should not result in any layoffs because workers will be moved to positions in other areas. The federal agency also had offered buyouts to some workers.

The USPS is consolidating many facilities nationwide in the hopes of addressing its huge operating deficit. It reported it had $26 billion in losses last year, due in part to dwindling first-class mail volume and revenue; as well as increased operating costs.

The first phase of the network rationalization between 2012 and 2013 resulted in 141 consolidations that led to $865 million in annual savings with no employee layoffs, according to the USPS.

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