DAYTON — The Postal Service has again put the Dayton Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) on the chopping block, but local postal officials maintain that for the average person, very little will change.
Dayton was included on a list of Ohio facilities slated to close in 2015 as part of a second phase of consolidations began in 2013. Other closures are planned for Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown.
“Most postal customers in the Dayton region will not see much of a change at all,” said David Walton, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service.
Walton explained that originating First Class Mail - mail placed in the Postal system in Vandalia, for example - was already being sorted in Columbus, a change that occurred in Phase I of Postal Service consolidation.
The Postal Service estimates the average time of First Class Mail delivery will increase slightly from 2.14 days to an overall average of 2.25 days. Under the change, Postal officials estimate that 55 percent of all First Class Mail will be delivered within two days.
Locally, Chad Woodworth, a supervisor at the Greenville Post Office, concurred that there “shouldn’t be much of a change.”
“That closure was on a list to close before, and they removed it from that list,” Woodworth noted. “So we don’t know what’s going to happen…At this point, it’s really up in the air. I don’t know exactly what the local impact will be, but what they had told us the last time was that there might be a delay in First Class mail by a day, but that never happened.”
The consolidation plan will close 80 facilities across the U.S. and is projected to save the Postal Service over $3.5 billion over the next five years.
Walton said that 290 employees at the Dayton P&DC would be affected by the consolidation. The Postal Service says that approximately 15,000 employees nationwide will be impacted by the proposed consolidations, but that efforts will be made to reassign those employees.
“With all other past consolidations, we have been able to place impacted employees in other available positions without resorting to layoffs,” said the Postal Service Phase 2 Frequently Asked Questions.
Walton said that some employees will be lost through natural attrition through retirement or other employment, but that many would go into positions that were left unfilled as the Postal Service anticipated the consolidations.
Periodicals, however, could see a delay in delivery. Current Postal Service regulations call for a two to four day delivery window for periodicals, but the new standards will increase that to a three to four day delivery window.
Businesses are not expected to see changes in how they get bulk mail, including periodicals, into the postal system according to Letitia Holloway, Supervisor of the Dayton Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU).
“None of these changes will affect the BMEU,” said Holloway. “The Dayton BMEU is not slated to close.”
The Postal Service maintains that there will be no price increase associated with the proposed consolidations. Consolidation is scheduled to begin in January and will be completed by the fall of 2015.
Still, many details of the plans are not known, a point conceded by Walton.
“We don’t have all the specific details that people want,” said Walton. “More details will be released in the coming weeks.”