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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Some post office closures delayed

By Ed O'Keefe

The long-feared closure of post offices across the country is being delayed by at least two weeks because of the holiday rush, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Though USPS declined to provide specific figures, postal officials selected about 160 sites last year to close or merge with nearby locations this week. At least 15 locations will wait two more weeks before shutting down, USPS confirmed Monday.

None of the sites are located in the Washington region. Workers at the closing post offices will be reassigned to other locations.

Some communities are using the delays to make a final plea to USPS to keep their local post offices open. An Albany, N.Y. community group hopes a last-minute appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission can save their neighborhood postal station.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe made the decision to wait in order to focus on finalizing the 2010 holiday mailing season, spokeswoman Sue Brennan said.

"The holiday season is the Postal Service's busiest time of year, and the feeling was that the activities involved in closing the offices in question simply created too great a workload for our employees at this particular time," Brennan said.

USPS continues to look "at every possible way to save money and consolidation is a big piece of how we can do that," Brennan said.

The mail agency operates about 36,000 post offices, stations, branches and smaller community facilities nationwide and closing only a few hundred locations will do little to cut significant costs for the Postal Service, which lost $8.5 billion last fiscal year.

The Postal Service endured weeks of headaches in 2009 after Congressional aides distributed a list of hundreds of sites considered for closure or consolidation with little explanation.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 3, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Comments

Competition in the marketplace for first class mail will make the system more efficient and cost effective. Good example is package shipping where competition by FedEX, UPS, etc., engendered competition and the public reaped the rewards of reasonable prices and efficient delivery.

Posted by: brt1eye | January 3, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

We can't afford the US Mail system any longer...this broken system is suppose to "break even" but continues to bleed tax payer $$....either get it fixed or shut er down...all I get are bills and junk mail so most could do without it...

Posted by: mjandrews8 | January 3, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

What company would keep open a store which costs $80,000 to operate(one full timer and part time replacement to cover a sick call or vacations plus rent and utilities) while having sales of less than 10,000. per year. Yes close the small offices. Hell, I've got three small offices in my area on the same stretch of road two to three miles apart.

Posted by: mailman5218 | January 9, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

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