U.S. Postal Service to Cut Next-Day Delivery, Plan Would Close 9 Postal Centers in Illinois

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

UPDATE Dec. 5:CHICAGO (AP) -- The struggling U.S. Postal Service says it's moving forward with plans to slash its budget by $3 billion by closing more than 250 mail processing centers around the nation, including nine in Illinois.

The cuts announced Monday would slow first-class mail service, ending next-day deliveries of stamped letters.

The list of processing centers to be closed released earlier this year includes facilities in Bloomington, Carbondale, Centralia, Chicago, Effingham, Fox Valley, Quincy, Rockford, and Springfield.

But the fight to save the centers is far from over. A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo says the plan makes no sense and Manzullo is demanding the postal service produce data that justify the move. The plan calls for closing a center in Rockford and moving its operations to Madison, Wis.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Snail mail is about to get a little slower.

For the first time in 40 years the U.S. Postal Service says it will slow down first-class mail starting this spring.

Right now, nearly half of all first class mail arrives the next day, but the postal service plans to close nearly half of its 500 mail processing centers. The result--it will take at least two days to deliver most mail. Leaders say they have to take action to help get out of the red.

Postal Vice President David Williams said, “We have to do this. We have to make this change in order for the postal service to become financially viable."

37 hundred local post offices are set to be shut down nationwide and 100-thousand postal workers could lose their jobs.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A mainstay for the U.S. Postal Service is about to become a thing of the past: first-class next day delivery. And the big change could do more harm than good.

“If they're going to change the time and delivery on first class, they can't hardly call it first class. If it's going to cost me more to send it and take longer to get there, I will most likely choose UPS or FedEx”, says customer Carol Wehmeyer.

Facing a projected deficit of $14.1 billion next year, the Postal Service will announce several cuts on Monday to help the agency avoid bankruptcy. The removal of first class-next day delivery would mean nearly half of first class mail would arrive three days after it's sent. A change that could have a significant impact on local businesses.

Vicki Bressler, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics says, "My customers will be upset. I have customers who do mail order every single day. I'm here at the post office every single night, every single day after I close my store. I think the delays will be very hard on my customers, I think they will be very unhappy."

Elimination of next day service is the second change in first class mail in recent months. A one cent increase, from 44 to 45 cents, is also scheduled to begin on January 22.

"I cover the costs for my customers at this point in time so I don't know how that will affect me. We'll have to see", says Bressler.

Rockford Postal Workers union president Tim Pedersen says he's worried the agency is rushing into the decision to cut next-day delivery and feels there are other ways to save money without harming service.

How will proposed changes at the Post Office change your mailing habits?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Douglas Location: Northern IL on Dec 6, 2011 at 04:38 AM
    I haven't had next day service in 25 years when they closed our post office here. Whenever I mail my bills I always have to figure a min. of 4 days. But most of us are now doing on line banking, which has hurt the Post Office revenue. I also know that there are places in Illinois that you mail something from Rockford it would take over 8 days to go about 40 miles. That is speedy service there.
  • by Barbara Location: IL on Dec 5, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    When they say next day mail they are not talking about Express Mail which is the guaranteed (normally overnight) service you pay extra for. They are talking about the letter you mail with a regular stamp that currently gets their in 1 day. For Example a letter mailed from a zipcode starting with the first three digits of 610 or 611 with a destination of 610 or 611 normally is delivered the next day. With the new service standards announced that letter would take 2 days. A major issue for the postal service is that are required by congress to prefund retirement benefits for 75 year period in a 10 year period. This means they are prefunding for people not even born yet and since when people retire they are not being replaced, many of these will never even be hired. Imagine being told you had to pay off your 30 year mortgate in 4 years - how well do you think you could manage?
  • by agree with really ! on Dec 5, 2011 at 03:39 PM
    really is right ! when are you people gona pull your heads out of that dark hole BEHIND your legs ? WAKE UP ALREADY !!!!!!!!!
  • by Really? on Dec 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    Another victim of union overkill. The USPS is antiquated ate best. Drop the wages. The work these people do is trained money work. What brand new way of doing things have any of them come up with. You should make money when you improve things, not just repetitive nonsense. Same with UAW trained apes.
  • by douglas Location: seattle on Dec 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM
    I hope they have a telephon,bake sale cchurch bazarre car wash or dot rest stop to save the us post office:)
  • by Richard Location: Rockford on Dec 5, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    You have to be kidding me, that the Post Office employees work so hard! No wonder the Postal system cannot support itself, with the wages provided and the unreasonable benefits. How about all Postal workers and managers earn the same as regular people?
  • by Glenn Location: Rockford on Dec 5, 2011 at 06:35 AM
    This is a real shame phasing out needed services like the Postal Service. Someone at the top should have their pay and or job cut due to these ridiculous decisions. Who ever is making these decisions probably never had to do a hard day's work in their life. Never had to carry a heavy bag around in all sorts of weather or deal with dogs or irate customers. Seems it is always the little guys that get shafted, never the CEOs or high officials.
  • by Douglas Location: Northern IL on Dec 5, 2011 at 04:30 AM
    They closed our Post Office in our litle town about 20 years ago. They took away our zip code and made us use a larger town's zip, and we were told to be sure to use the plus 4 for proper delivery. The problem is that we have streets that are close in name. But the larger town the people don't understand they live on a Ave. and not a street. I still get their mail, and living in my house for over 25 years they still send stuff back addressee unknown. But to look at what they are planning to do with next day mail, my question to that is DON'T WE PAY FOR THAT, ISN'T THAT A SPECIAL SERVICE? I know that any letter I send from my house it takes a min. of 3 days to get there. But you do pay for next day at the Post Office for something important, right.
  • by illinoisisamess on Dec 4, 2011 at 08:42 PM
    Y is the governor so adamant about phasing out the postal service. Is ups and fedex paying him to shut down the original mail carrier? Postal workers work hard and deserve pay. They sort it deliver it. They carry checks CC security information. All types of weather all types of neighborhoods. Dealing with vicious dogs and people all with a whistle and mace. What is wrong with the people making the decisions. That's y the country is in the toilet. How about if we cut the decision makers pay for every stupid decision they make. Heck they'd probably be below the poverty line. Make cuts from the top so we can all eat.
    • reply
      by Richard on Dec 5, 2011 at 08:07 AM in reply to illinoisisamess
      you must a Postal worker or a retired one, for your logic is clouded!!!!!
      • reply
        by Douglas on Dec 5, 2011 at 12:08 PM in reply to Richard
        you must be a CEO Richard, after reading your comments.
        • reply
          by Richard on Dec 5, 2011 at 02:27 PM in reply to Douglas
          No hardly, just a regular retired person, who is tired of hearing of the monster retirement benefits awarded all government employees, using the term loosely. Where else could someone delivering mail start out at $20 per hour, plus the holidays that private industry does not offer, and the extremely generous retirement program, again that private companies do not or could not afford to offer.
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