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USPS delays post office closures

Thousands of post offices and mail processing facilities across the country will remain open until at least May 15, 2012, according to the United States Postal Service.

The announcement made Tuesday, Dec. 13 means that the South Bethlehem Post Office, under review for closure, will remain open at least through the first half of next year.

The U.S. Postal Service made the decision in response to a request made by multiple U.S. Senators. In a statement, USPS officials said that they hope this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation.

Bethlehem Town Supervisor Sam Messina and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin explained their reasons why the South Bethlehem office should remain open in a letter written to Congressman Paul Tonko back in October.

At the time, McLaughlin said he’d rather the Postal Service went toward reduction of delivery days rather than office closures. The Assemblyman said he was relieved to see the postponement of the closures in the Capital District.

“The system established by Washington to select post offices for closure failed to take into account a number of factors, including New York’s older population, winter road closures and regional geography,” said McLaughlin, who added that he hoped the postal service will use the time to reconsider the “disproportionate hardship” the closures would mean for New York.

Tom Rizzo, a spokesperson for the USPS, said in October that there were no pre-determined outcomes to the studies that are being undertaken at every one of the offices on the potential closure list.

In late July, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would conduct studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs. USPS has faced growing deficits as the public uses less hard copy mail.

Read the Nov. 2 article on the South Bethlehem office here.

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