Monday, August 10, 2009

Yandell Post Office To Close?

Will our neighborhood post office close? Taylor Bengston in Mayor Cook's office says that the closures of the Yandell and Dyer offices are not certain. She suggested that the best way to get involved is to participate in the meetings that will be held locally to vet the issues. The meetings have not been scheduled but Taylor has talked to the Congressman liaison on post office matters and she said she will alert us as soon as the meetings are scheduled. Taylor has also let the Congressman's office know that Representative Byrd's office is already receiving concerns about the closures, particularly the Yandell one.

In an email to Representative Byrd shared with us, Taylor Bengston writes:
Rep. Byrd,

I have done some research on the possibility of closures in the El Paso area. It is important to keep in mind that while the post offices are on the potential list, there is nothing confirmed. The US Postal Service is conducting a study of all of their branches (nearly 3200) in an effort to mitigate the estimated $7.1 billion in expected loss in revenue by the end of FY2009.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia held a hearing on this issue last Thursday. There was also a hearing held today before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. I read the testimony given by the Post Master General, and it seems as if the reason for those identified is because of the close proximity to another office.

Of the 677 post offices that have been identified as potential offices for closure, only about 200 have been are likely to be closed according post office and Congressional sources in a recent Washington Post article. Further reading has shown that there will be no closures before the end of the September 2009, so there is still time. There are 18 post office branches identified in the Rio Grande area, and of those, 4 are located in El Paso. Austin and San Antonio have the other offices.

It is my understanding that there is a possibility of a meeting in the future to discuss the branches identified. The folks at the Rio Grande District Office are supposed to notify Congressman Reyes' office when the meeting is announced. I have asked that they keep me informed so that you can participate should you wish to do so. I think this is going to be the most effective way of voicing concern about the possible closures.

There are, of course, other cost saving measures that the Post Office is considering. One being reducing service days from six to five, essentially cutting out Saturday service. According to the Post Master General, moving to a five day work week would save more than $3 billion. Opponents to this measure say that the Post Office cannot expect to gain business if they reduce their service.

Feel free to let me know if there is anything else I can provide.


Taylor Bengton
Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator
City of El Paso

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