Postal Service plans shift in Arkansas facilities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service announced Friday that it intends to keep its mail processing and distribution facilities in Fayetteville and Little Rock open while closing those in Jonesboro, Hot Springs and Harrison.

The announcement came after USPS completed a five-month-long consolidation study of its mail processing and distribution facilities across the nation.

Postal Service officials said the closures, which are being made at facilities across the country, are needed given the agency’s bleak financial outlook. With First Class mail volume falling by 25 percent since 2006, the Postal Service needs to cut costs by $20 billion to return to profitability by 2015.

“The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” said Megan Brennan, chief operating officer of the Postal Service. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”

The Postal Service plans to transfer all mail processing and distribution work from Jonesboro to Memphis, Tenn., from Hot Springs to Little Rock, and from Harrison to Fayetteville.

Specific dates have not been set for the transition. Until a specific date has been announced, residential and business mailers will continue to be served through the current facilities, according to the Postal Service. No facility will close before May 15.

The Postal Service agreed in December to a moratorium on closing or consolidating post offices prior to May 15 so that Congress and the Obama Administration would have an opportunity to enact an alternative plan.

The Postal Service does not plan to make any changes to the Business Mail Entry Unit at the Jonesboro, Hot Springs or Harrison Customer Service Mail Processing centers.