Cost-saving changes coming to Tucson as U.S. Postal Service Restructures

Cost-saving changes coming to Tucson as U.S. Postal Service Restructures

CREATED Jan 16, 2013

Reporter: Justin Schecker

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  As Congress deals with the looming fiscal deadlines and the debt ceiling, the United States Postal Service faces its own uncertain financial future.

Instead of banking on Congress to pass reforms, the Postal Service announced this week it plans to speed up cost-saving measures.      

Changes are coming to many locations across the country. The processing facility at Tucson's main Post Office on Cherrybell will shut down, but it wont result in the loss of jobs, said Rob Soler, a Postal Service spokesperson.  Soler added the mail sorting will be consolidated with a facility in Phoenix.

Lisa Contessa is a regular customer at the Post Office on Cherrybell.

"I use it for packages more than anything," Contessa said. "I don't hardly send letters or anything anymore."

And Contessa is not alone. 

"With online bill pay and automatic bank deposits, the use of first class letters has dropped by 25 percent since 2006," Soler said. He added that reduction in business is a main reason for the Postal Service restructuring nationwide. 

Soler told Nine on Your Side customers at the main Post Office won't notice a difference once the process of moving sorting operations to Phoenix begins in February. 

Another cost-saving measure will be shorter hours at some branch locations "in small rural communities where the post offices are under utilized," Soler said.

Contessa is glad she'll be able to keep coming through the doors of her regular Post Office.

"We're right in the neighborhood so its really convenient for me to come over here," she said.

The Postal Service plans to encourage the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority. 

Soler said the Postal Service isn't seeking funding, adding it would like Congress to approve change street delivery from six to five days and change the laws regulating how the Postal Service pays for future employee benefits.

These changes could save the Postal Service almost $9 billion a year, Soler said.