Washington D.C. (WKBW release) -- New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and 14 Senators from around the country on Tuesday announced that, at their request, the U.S. Postal Service has voluntarily agreed to put in place a five-month moratorium on closing postal facilities, which would give Congress more time to enact postal reform legislation.
During the moratorium, scheduled to end on May 15, 2012, the Postal Service will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.
“The U.S. Postal Service plays a vital role in every community,” Gillibrand said in a news release. “Small businesses, families, and seniors depend on these facilities daily. While this is not a permanent solution, I am pleased that the Postmaster General is putting a six-month moratorium on the closures of postal facilities. In New York, more than 1000 jobs, 100 post offices and 7 Area Mail Processing centers will continue serving their communities while Congress works on reforming the postal service to ensure its survival.”
Tuesday’s announcement follows a meeting Monday between several Senators and U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr., in which Senators expressed concern over the impact of reduced service and the loss of thousands of jobs.
On September 15, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to review its mail processing network in the hopes of reducing costs. The Postal Service is currently considering the elimination of overnight delivery and studying the possibility of closing 3,700 mostly rural post offices and 252 mail processing facilities.
New York Congressman Brian Higgins also released a statement Tuesday praising the decision. His statement reads:
“Today’s news that the United States Postal Service will delay closings of mail processing facilities and post offices is welcome news for the hundreds of hard-working local families facing job loss as a result of proposed cuts.
“The William Street and Lackawanna facilities have a proven record of efficiency efforts and outstanding service and can certainly contribute significantly to the Postal Services’ long-term growth. It is our hope that USPS will take this extra time to really listen to their customers and reevaluate existing closing plans in Western New York.”