Pasco will suffer another casualty as a result of U.S. Postal Service budget cuts.
Employees were told Monday that the downtown post office at 403 W. Lewis St. eventually will be closed, Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson confirmed.
"There isn't any firm timetable at this point," he said.
One full-time and one part-time employee at the Lewis Street facility will be transferred to Pasco's remaining post office at 3500 W. Court St., Swanson said. The Postal Service hasn't determined how much closing the post office will save.
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"We're just trying to tighten the belt and eliminate costs where we can," he said.
The Postal Service has attempted to close the Lewis Street post office before, even holding public hearings on the topic, Pasco City Councilman Al Yenney said. He plans to oppose the closure again.
"That's quite an asset for downtown," said Yenney, whose district includes the post office. "I use it, the city uses it."
The move comes after the Postal Service transferred the operation of its Pasco mail handling center, found in the same building as the Court Street post office, to Spokane.
About 15 employees are affected by that move. Because of union contracts, the postal service cannot lay off workers or involuntarily move them more than 50 miles from the Court Street site.
The Postal Service also continues to look for a new location for the Richland Post Office, now at 815 Jadwin Ave.
Officials say the facility in the federal building is now too large since mail carriers moved from the site to the West Richland Post Office.
The Postal Service is looking for about 4,100 square feet as close as possible to the Jadwin post office, Swanson said. No decision has been made on what will go in the post office space.
"We will leave it up to the (General Services Administration) as to what they want to do with it," he said.