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Postal Service shutters some Wyoming processing centers
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Postal Service shutters some Wyoming processing centers

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LANDER -- If you live in the Wheatland, Rock Springs or Rawlins area, your local mail is going to take a little longer to arrive.

The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday it is consolidating 223 mail processing centers nationwide, including three in Wyoming, Postal Service spokesman David Rupert said.

Wheatland and Rawlins will have their mail processed in Cheyenne, while Rock Springs will be serviced by Salt Lake City, he said.

The decision impacts nine workers in Rock Springs and one each in Wheatland and Rawlins, Rupert said.

He noted that the Postal Service is working with the unions to place those 11 people in different positions. Some may choose to retire, some may relocate and some may retrain to move into a new job within the Postal Service.

Next-day local mail will be a thing of the past. For example, local mail currently sent from Green River to Rock Springs usually arrives the next day. Once the processing centers are consolidated, a letter from Green River will go to Salt Lake City before Rock Springs and won't arrive the next day because of "the sheer logistics," Rupert said.

Local mail will be the only type impacted by the change.

"We can have mail anywhere in the country in three days," Rupert said.

Meanwhile, the Postal Service scrapped plans to close the Rapid City, S.D., processing center and move its operations to Casper.

The consolidations will save the Postal Service $1.3 million per year in Rock Springs, $300,000 per year in Wheatland, $580,000 per year in Rawlins and $2.1 billion total nationwide each year, Rupert said.

The Postal Service is not tax supported and has been suffering financially. It has seen its first-class mail volume decline 25 percent since 2006.

The Postal Service is also considering closing many rural post offices in Wyoming and throughout the country, but has yet to make any final decisions, Rupert said. He did not know when announcements on rural post offices would be made. The Postal Service did agree to not close any post offices or processing centers until after May 15 to allow Congress a chance to enact legislation to help the service.

The transition to the new processing centers will take several months, and a timeline has not been set for when those on the chopping block will be closed, Rupert said.

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