Meeting to look at relocation of USPS sortingThe U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting here next month to discuss a proposal to move mail processing operations from Jamestown to Fargo.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting here next month to discuss a proposal to move mail processing operations from Jamestown to Fargo.
The change would move processing for 51 zip codes beginning with “584.”
“What we do is we try to put this (mail processing) in as few facilities as possible and that way you can maximize the use of equipment,” said Pete Nowacki, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, who is based in Minneapolis.
Fargo processes mail 24 hours a day; Jamestown does not. The move would result in the relocation of three Jamestown employees. It would also result in some budget savings.
“Right now everything is preliminary and what we’re looking at right now is a potential savings of $14,000 a year,” Nowacki said.
There are currently 15 clerks in the Jamestown center.
The study, known as an Area Mail Processing Study, started at the end of March and looked at nearly every component of the mail that leaves Jamestown.
In 2006, the Postal Service hit a peak with 213 billion pieces of mail. The U.S. Postal Service has seen a 20 percent mail decline during the past couple of years. In three years, the amount of mail being processed in Jamestown has dipped by roughly 3 million pieces to 11,785,000 for the 2010 fiscal year.
“We can take care of the volume we get now in a lesser number of facilities,” Nowacki said.
There are two reasons for the decline, he said. The first is the decrease in first-class stamped mail. Examples would be a letter from one person to another or a payment for a bill that goes into a local mailbox.
The second reason is the increase in drop-ship packaging. For example, a national advertisement that comes in your mailbox was not likely sent from the same location as, say, the same advertisement to a mailbox in San Francisco. The company sending out the ads would pay for delivering them to local post offices, which means less processing throughout the system.
In 2010, 35 AMP consolidations resulted in nearly $100 million in savings for the Postal Service.
The consolidation of the Jamestown, and the three South Dakota branches also being studied — Aberdeen, Pierre, and Mobridge — would result in an annual savings of $1.5 million, Nowacki said.
Nowacki said the public meeting — scheduled for 7 p.m. May 12 at the Civic Center — is to take in any and all things the study may not have considered.
“Preliminarily it looks like it makes sense,” he said. “We’re looking at going forward with it but that’s why we have these public meetings — to see if it makes sense.”
Written comments may also be submitted through May 27 by mailing them to Consumer Affairs Manager, PO Box 7570, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-7570.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com