Cedar Rapids Post Office move could save $1.6 mil & cut 34 jobs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids Post Office move could save $1.6 mil & cut 34 jobs

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

More than a hundred people attended a public meeting Tuesday to discuss the proposal to move mail processing operations from the Cedar Rapids to Milan, Illinois.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports a decline in mail volume due to new technology.

The Hawkeye District manager Jim Herrmann said this decline also means a decline in revenue.

"All of the money comes from stamps that are purchased," Herrmann said. "Because of social networks and electronic payments, a lot of mail is going away—especially first class, which affects a lot of business. So as mail volume goes away we have to shrink our company, because we have less revenue coming in."

In an effort to increase efficiency, the postal service has conducted an area mail processing (AMP) study. The study, released in September, is currently under review by the USPS Headquarters.

The study found by consolidating the Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities Processing and Distribution Facilities (P&DF), the USPS could save $1,686,263 in annual mail processing savings.  That's in addition to $175,085 in management costs, $989,200 in maintenance costs, and $780,580 in transportation costs.

The proposed consolidation would mean a net decrease of about 34 positions, but many of those jobs would just be moved to a different location.

"I know the employees are concerned because its change," Herrmann said. "It affects them personally, and in some cases, they've lived their whole life in Cedar Rapids and they may have to move outside of Cedar Rapids as far as their jobs go."

The USPS says local customers would see few changes. The retail and other services currently available are not expected to change, but local collection box pick-ups may.  Commercial mailers who drop ship to Destination Sectional Center Facility may also see changes.

But critics, like supporters of savethepostoffice.com, argue that the postal service's statistics have been conflicting.

Officials have not yet released a timetable for when they will announce their decision on the proposal.

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