ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A huge crowd at tonight's hearing on the potential closure of Rockford's mail distribution center. Mike about 600 people showed up.
Sean Hargadon, Spokesperson for the USPS, "These are tough times for the postal service, and this is part of the process. Getting their feedback, getting their input. Explaining to them why we're here. Why we're here today."
And the U.S. Postal Service says the business is not the way it used to be. "I mean, online communications have just really increased tremendously. You can't continue to operate with first class mail as you grow, as your model... Building your network, building your processing network, and all of a sudden it goes down by half in 10 years," says Hargadon.
Key political figures like Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and Representative Don Manzullo made their presence known that they are against the postal service's proposal. Manzullo even confronted the board with an award the Rockford Distribution Center just received. "I'm so proud of this, saying that Rockford is the most efficient sorting center in the Lakeland district. Rockford team. And my question tonight is well, why are you coming into congratulate somebody and then come in and close them up?" says Manzullo.
Morrissey added this will only add to Rockford's high unemployment numbers. Local members of postal unions publicly voiced their outrage. Kelly Pruka, President of the National Letter Carriers Association says, "The American public is hearing from the postal service that if we don't close post offices and if we don't close plants, and if we don't cut services from overnight delivery to two to three days that we're going to go under, and that's simply not the case." And Tim Pedersen, President of the American Postal Workers Union says, "The post office is rushing through this. They are concentrating on cutting services versus ways they could grow the business and dig themselves out of this financial mess."