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Senate Bill May Save Easton Mail Processing Center From Closure

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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EASTON, Md. (WJZ)– There may be a reprieve for a mail processing center on the Eastern Shore. The postal service was planning to close it.

Alex DeMetrick reports an act of Congress could just keep it open.

A close eye is being kept on Capitol Hill watching for a Senate vote.

“Oh, yes we are. We’re following it very closely. We’re waiting on it,” Beverly Collins, vice president of the American Postal Workers Local, said.

The decision might keep 130 workers at the Easton processing center on the job. That’s because the postal service plans to close the facility as it downsizes to reduce a huge budget deficit. The Senate bill would save it.

“We want to stay here on the Eastern Shore and keep processing that mail,” Collins said.

To cut costs, the postal service planned to close 252 processing centers across the country. The Senate bill would reduce those closing to 125, leaving the Easton center open.

It would also delay the closing of rural post offices by one year, which are an Eastern Shore fixture.

The justification for keeping this facility open is the first-class stamp, which requires the postal service to deliver mail overnight to nearby zip codes.

“You know, you pay the first-class price, you deserve first-class service. Your cards, your letters, your bills deserve to get there overnight, especially in the same area,” Collins said.

If Easton closes, processing for Maryland’s Eastern Shore would move to Delaware, potentially slowing that service while driving more customers to the service’s biggest competitor– the Internet.

The Easton processing center moves its share of mail. During the last six months alone, 99 million pieces of mail passed through the facility.

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