According to ABC 7 Chicago, the U.S. Postal Service's decisions to cut operations to save $3 billion by 2015 will affect Chicago. Three mail processing centers and 12 post office retail centers in the Windy City will be shutting down. The impacts of this decision will mean first-class mail in Chicago will no longer be overnight.
No layoffs are expected and priority and express mail will not be impacted. Similarly, the changes will not affect mail this holiday season and would going into effect within the first few months of next year. Here are some facts about the financial issues and ways the Postal Service is trying to remedy its budget problems:
* Time reported the U.S. Postal Service announced it would closing half of its 500 mail processing centers across the country.
* Currently, 42 percent of first-class mail, including stamped letters, is delivered the next day, but the processing center closures will mean more time for this type of mail to get to its destination.
* The cuts in operations comes as the Postal Service predicted a record $14.1 billion in losses for the 2012 fiscal year, in addition to losing more and more business as a result of the recession, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
* A 6 percent drop in the amount of mail delivered is also expected for the 2012 fiscal year, a significant change over last year, which only saw a drop of 2 percent.
* This month the Postal Service will also likely default on a $5.5 billion annual payment to the U.S. Treasury for health benefits for retired workers, noted the Chicago Sun-Times.
* Unlike many other government agencies, the Postal Service is independent and does not receive taxpayer money. While Congress has control over many aspects of the agency, the changes in first-class mail does not require the permission of Congress.
* According to the Associated Press, 13 processing centers will be cut in New York and there would be an impact on jobs as mail processing moves to Syracuse.
* First-class mail volume reached its peak in 2006 and the volume is at 78 million with projections estimating a 50 percent drop by 2020.
* In face of cutting processing centers and resulting slower delivery times, first-class mail rates will increase in January to 45 cents, noted CNBC.Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from Chicago pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.
- Postal Service