RICHLAND — The U.S. Postal Service is looking for a new home for the Jadwin Avenue post office thats as near to our existing location as we can possibly find, a postal official told the Richland City Council on Tuesday.
The agency wants to relocate the post office to save money at a time when mail volume is falling nationwide, along with revenues.
Mail volume has dropped 25 percent in the last five years as more people turn to the internet to pay bills and send correspondence, Russ Rainey, a Colorado-based real estate specialist for the postal service, told the city council during its Tuesday meeting.
He said his agency is looking for a building thats about 4,100 square feet.
The postal service leases the Jadwin Avenue facility.
Letter carriers moved from that site to the West Richland Post Office more than a year ago, and we now have more building than we need, Rainey said.
Richland Postmaster Barbara Puckett told the Herald that customer service wont be affected and no jobs lost in a move.
She said theres no set timeline.
Rainey said hell keep the city informed about the proposed relocation through Mayor John Fox, and community members will be able to weigh in throughout the process.
The Processing & Distribution Center in Pasco has been targeted for closure. Its doors havent closed yet, although a postal service spokesman told the Herald late last month that at least part of the operation likely will move elsewhere at some point.
John Michael Wald, president of the local American Postal Workers Union, told the Herald this morning that he fears the postal service may shut down the Richland site altogether and is using the relocation proposal as a stall tactic. The postal service has done that to get around the legal requirements for closing post offices in other parts of the country in the past, he said.
He said he's skeptical a relocation would save money and not affect customer service or jobs.