In a letter to the postmaster general, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., today asked for additional information about the U.S. Postal Service's plans for the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw beginning this summer.
"You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached," Levin wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. "In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan."
Levin's letter follows. Download the letter to the Postmaster General [PDF].
February 24, 2012
The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010
Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:
I am writing regarding your correspondence dated February 23, 2012, which notified me of the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Michigan beginning in the summer of 2012.
The impacted facilities in Michigan are in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw. You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached. In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan.
During the public meetings relative to these proposals, members of the public asked questions and raised concern about these possible closures. I would appreciate knowing how the Postal Service addressed issues raised by the public and how public comment was considered during the AMP process.
As you provide this information, I am particularly interested in receiving answers to the following questions:
1. How many jobs will be eliminated at each facility?
2. Of those jobs, how many will be transferred to other facilities?
3. What is the distance of each transfer?
4. What are the additional projected savings and additional projected costs for each facility?
According to your letter, these consolidations are contingent on the issuance of a final rule revising first class mail standards. The Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding these revised standards on December 5, 2011. The PRC has opened a Docket to consider this request and is expected to issue an advisory opinion this summer. I have heard from my constituents that the Postal Service intends to proceed with these closures immediately following the expiration of the closure moratorium on May 15th. The Postal Service had agreed to this moratorium to allow Congress the time to consider postal reform legislation. I would appreciate your assurance that the Postal Service will wait until after the advisory opinion of the PRC has been issued before taking any steps relative to any mail processing facility closure.
While I fully understand the serious nature of the Postal Service's current financial situation and the need to take action, I am concerned that the Postal Service not take action that would erode the universal service obligation and want to analyze the conclusions of the Postal Service relative to claimed savings.
Should you have any questions, please contact Harold Chase of my staff at (202) 224-9125. Thank you for your assistance.