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Victoria post office might consolidate with Corpus Christi operations

By ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:11 a.m.
Updated Oct. 12, 2010 at 5:12 a.m.


CONSOLIDATIONCommunity members and post office employees can submit their comments regarding the possible consolidation to:

Consumer Affairs Manager

USPS Rio Grande District

10410 Perrin Beitel Road Room 1045

San Antonio, TX 78284-9631

Victoria post offices might soon see change.

A feasibility study is under way to determine whether to consolidate Victoria's customer service mail processing center with Corpus Christi's processing and distribution center.

Mail volume has declined throughout the economic downturn, dropping by nearly 26 billion pieces in 2009, Victoria Postmaster Ken Epley said in a news release. Another 11-billion drop is expected for 2010.

With that decrease comes a drop in revenue, which makes it more difficult for the U.S. Postal Service to support its processing and delivery network. Less mail also means post offices have excess equipment, people and space devoted to processing items, Epley said in the release.

"It only makes sense to study whether we can consolidate operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs, as long as service is not negatively impacted," he said.

Such studies have taken place for decades.

The Postal Service constantly makes updates and improvements to keep mail affordable, uphold universal service and preserve the organization and its jobs for the long-term.

No decision has been made as to whether the organizations will consolidate.

The endeavor is a multi-part process that begins with a feasibility study, according to the release.

Based on those results, a proposal is issued to either consolidate or to refrain, if it appears consolidation would negatively impact service or wouldn't provide savings.

If data shows consolidation makes sense, a public meeting will take place to allow community members a chance to ask questions and give feedback. Afterward, a review of the business case and public feedback takes place and a final decision is made.

Consolidation would bring some change to Victoria operations.

Some employees would likely be reassigned if operations moved, while the organization would try to handle workforce reductions through attrition where possible.

The post office's retail side would maintain its same hours and local mail service would also remain unchanged.

Sam Grier, a Victoria resident who works at DoubleDave's Pizzaworks, said she didn't think a consolidation would affect her, mainly because she rarely sends items through the mail.

Another Victoria resident, Daniel "Dae Dae" Decker, said he was unsure whether he would see any effects.

As long as the changes didn't mean it would take letters longer to reach their destinations, he said he wouldn't mind.

Slower mail service would be annoying, however, and would affect others, too. Especially those in the prison system.

"Sometimes I'm in jail," he said. "And the people in there want to get their mail."

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