May 4, 2012 8:59 PM by Maddie Garrett
The financial woes of the US Postal Service hit home in Lafayette Friday, with a visit from US Senator Mary Landrieu. Landrieu toured the Moss Street Post Office and Processing Center as part of her drive to halt the closing of thousands of post offices.
Right now a moratorium is in place preventing thousands of post offices and hundreds of processing centers from closing across the country. Landrieu hopes to extend that moratorium or see the post office reform bill passed.
"Yes the post office is losing money. But there are ways that we can help the post office make more money and be a better steward of those dollars by being little smarter instead of just slashing burning and turning our backs on the communities we serve," Landrieu said.
While mailing services would still go on at the Moss Street Post Office, processing would be moved to Baton Rouge as part of cutting back the USPS.
"Lafayette is the heart and center of this whole region it doesn't make sense to process mail out of baton rouge or new orleans, closing or limiting jobs here," said Landrieu.
But with a projected loss of $14 billion this year, the Postal Service said changes are necessary now.
"Anytime an organization loses $25 million a day, anytime an organization loses its core product where volume has dropped over %25, you have to do something," explained Mckinney Boyd, Public Affairs Officer for USPS in Louisiana.
Boyd said they'll hold off on the closings though, hoping for a better solution.
"We're patient, we understand that congressional members are interested, they're making a move toward supporting the postal service so we'll be patient and wait and find out what the outcome is," he said.
That deadline is fast approaching on May 15th
The proposed post office reform bill would slow, if not stop, thousands of closures. It would also give the USPS $11 billion.
The bill reduces the number of processing center closures from 252 to 125 and protects rural post offices for at least a year. It also forbids cuts to Saturday delivery for at least two years.