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Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • You've got mail...for now

  • First it was the Quincy Mail Processing and Distribution Center and now the Gateway District office located at the Columbia Regional Airport is threatening to shut down as well. Find out more here.
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  • First it was the Quincy Mail Processing and Distribution Center and now the Gateway District office located at the Columbia Regional Airport is threatening to shut down as well.
    According to Spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service Valerie Welsch, the possible closing is due to budget cuts.
    "The Postal Service is losing money every day it is open for business," said Welsch. "We have been doing everything in our power for the past couple of years to reduce our expenses as much as possible while trying to get congressional and legislative change to help the Postal Service to become more financially stable so we can continue to provide service to Americans."
    Even though this office would be closed to save money, according to Welsch no Postal Service employees will be let go.
    "The Postal Service prides itself in taking care of its employees," said Welsch. "Employees will be offered other opportunities. Some may choose to retire, some may chose to move on, but employees will have landing spots in the post office."
    According to President of Central Missouri Postal Workers Union and Postal Service worker Jim Marsden, the postal service is saying they will save approximately $1.8 million from this closing.
    "But employees are just going to be transferred to a different office," said Marsden. "So they will still be paying salary, it just won't be paid in mid-Missouri anymore. In the end, the mid-Missouri economy will suffer that $1.8 million loss."
    The Gateway District is the only mail facility left in Mid-Missouri. So if the Columbia office closes, mail intended for Macon put into a local mailbox will be collected by a Macon mailman, will be taken to St. Louis or Kansas City to be sorted and then come back to Macon to be delivered.
    "The problem is that instead of the mail being in our area to return the local stuff the very next day to its destination, we will have to wait two or three days for it to come back and be delivered," said Marsden. "Rather than it be next day, it will be two to three days. But in our opinion, that two to three days will more likely be like three to five."
    However, Welsch says customers won't see a change in their service.
    The Gateway District office will hold a public input meeting at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia on Tuesday, April 2 for members of the community to come and support their postal service and also comment. The meeting will last from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    "I think it would be good for the general public down from the Iowa border down to Camdenton to make it to this meeting if they have anything to do with mail," said Marsden. "If this center shut down it would affect a lot of different people. Not just the employees."
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