Sen. Durbin says proposed cutbacks to postal services hurt Illinois

December 6, 2011

Delal Pektas

(AP/Pat Wellenbach)
The Postal Service, which has been losing money, announced Monday that it would close 252 out of 461 mail processing centers.

The Chicago area is bracing for cutbacks to the U.S. Mail service, following news of proposed cuts from the cash strapped U.S. Postal Service.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said proposed cuts to the U.S. Postal Service will hit Illinois too hard.

The agency has proposed closing several facilities around the state, including three in the Chicago-area, as part of an effort to save $3 billion by 2015.

Durbin said significant changes are coming to the way the post office works, but he urges a more thoughtful implementation.

"Honestly, the postal services as we know it today is going to change. We want to do it in a way that will not jeopardize the best postal service in the world," Durbin said.

He said he is open to ending mail service on Saturdays-- although some businesses depend on Saturday delivery. First class mail will likely arrive later than usual because of the proposed cutbacks.

The U.S. Postal Service spokesperson for the Chicago District, Mark Reynolds, said proposed changes, if approved, will not take effect until March of 2012.

"We are facing a very severe loss in volume over time and we have to obviously make some adjustments to some long series of multi-billion dollar losses and get back to profitibility, while maintaining the level of service that our customers expect from us," Reynolds said.

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