On the weekend of Feb. 23, the U.S. Postal Service’s Kalispell processing center was quietly moved and consolidated with one in Missoula. The closure was part of a plan announced last fall.
The Kalispell facility joins a long list of processing centers that have been closed across the country. In 2012, 46 facilities were closed or consolidated and this year 140 more will join that list. USPS spokesperson Pete Nowacki said customers wouldn’t notice a significant change in service.
“Mail will still be delivered at the same time and the post office will still be open,” he said. “This move will preserve 599 to 599 (zip code) overnight service.”
In September, the USPS decided it would close the Kalispell facility, a move that would save the agency $580,000 annually. In a press release, USPS Dakotas District Manager Roy Reynolds said the closure and cuts were necessary because of a 20 percent decline in mail volume since 2007.
“I understand our employees’ concern over this move, but the consolidation makes sense given the fiscal realities. The Missoula Customer Service Mail Processing Facility has the capacity to handle the additional workload and we can realize significant savings by shifting operations there,” he wrote.
Nowacki said some local sorting would still take place at the facility in Kalispell. He said no one had been laid off because of the move, but some local employees did retire. Although the main sorting center has been closed, the retail store on Meridian Road will remain open.
The Kalispell closure comes less than a month after the struggling government agency announced it planned on ending Saturday home delivery, a move that would reportedly save $2 billion annually. In 2012, the agency reported an annual loss of $15.9 billion, more than triple what it lost in 2011.
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