Quincy mail distribution center facing uncertain future
In an effort to cut millions of dollars from the budget, the U.S. Postal Service is putting more distribution centers on the chopping block this month.
One of the Tri-States main distribution centers in Quincy is among those fearing closure. These cuts would make a dramatic change in the way you get your mail.
"Quincy's one of those centers out here in the middle of nowhere, but it's vital to us. But it's one of the smaller ones. We're not a St. Louis, or Chicago or Peoria," said Mike Nobis, with JK Creative Printing in Quincy.
Quincy is one of nine sorting centers in Illinois the U.S. Postal Service is looking to consolidate. Monday, postal workers received a letter in the mail explaining the reason why. A recent USPS survey shows the company can save about $2 million by closing the Quincy branch.
"It's disconcerting. Look around and see folks who you've known for 10 or 20 years and you wonder, are you going to have a job in a few months or not?" said Vaughn Harshman, the president of the local postal union in Quincy.
Harshman's worked at this center for 27 years. He says its closure wouldn't just affect the 70 plus postal workers in Quincy, but its customers all over town, including the 623,634,635 zip cpde areas.
"As a commercial printer and mailer, we send stuff to the Quincy post office everyday, in pretty big volumes," said Nobis.
"The Quincy Post Office definitely has the best customer service, and that's the tragedy and sadness of all this. They've always been easy to work with, concerned about their customers, and you're right, we have been able to get our mail moved very quickly," said Nobis.
"We went through this in 2009, when they wanted to move us to Springfield, but they found out they couldn't do it. They had no business case for getting the mail out on time. The post office has kind of done an in-and-around on the public and they're in the process of changing the delivery standard to eliminate overnight delivery," said Harshman.
If and when Quincy's distribution center closes, you can expect your mail, especially First Class to take days longer than usual to arrive at its destination.
"Quite frankly, I'm a postal customer too. I don't want to pay more for less," said Harshman.
If there's a any silver lining in future deliveries, it would be the consolidation with Columbia, Missouri.
"If we had to be in any other sorting center, Columbia would probably be the best. We want to stay away from places like St. Louis and Peoria where they're notorious for being very, very slow," said Nobis.
While postal workers fear the decision has already been made, the USPS sent out a notice saying it will hold a public meeting on November 22 to hear the public's concerns. Only then, will it make a final decision on the closure.
"The Postal Service is going to go through with their proposals. This is the area's chance to stand up and say something, get your comments in. It's not a done deal," said Harshman.
"We'll see what they do, but this is a dramatic move for them, unless Congress comes in and bails them out, which I don't think is going to be the right answer either," said Nobis.
Harshman says otherwise.
"Congress helped create the problem. Congress can help fix it."
Harshamn says you should submit your comments by mailt to:Manager, Industry and Consumer ContactGateway District1720 Market St. Room 1011St. Louis, MO. 63155-9908
Nobis believes the best way to make an appeal for Quincy's closure is to personally write to the Columbia, Missouri distribution center and explain the reason why this will hurt the Tri-State community.
If you want to make your voice heard about the possible closure of the Quincy facility, you're asked to attend the public hearing. The meeting will be at the John Wood Community College Auditorium Tuesday, November 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
What do you think about the USPS survey? Should Quincy's distribution plant consolidate to help the budget? Leave your comments below.