Here we go again.
Ever since I read this last month, I've been trying to nail down whether the United States Postal Service intends to shutter the Dallas Main Post Office on IH30. I went so far as to contact Eddie Bernice Johnson's office; two weeks ago her spokesperson said, "We are going to hold off commenting at this time." Johnson, you may recall, was vehemently opposed to closing the main office back in 2009, when it was revealed the USPS was considering moving some operations to the Coppell processing plant; so too was then-Mayor Tom Leppert.
But the USPS, which claims to be losing $23 million every single day, is once again looking at closing the main office in Dallas: There will be a public hearing on Wednesday at Mountain View College, at which time officials with the postal service will discuss the findings of a just-completed study that recommends transferring the Dallas operations to the Fort Worth Processing and Distribution Center and the North Texas Processing and Distribution Center in Coppell.
Says a briefing prepared for next week's meeting, which you will find on the other side, "Due to the above consolidations, a net decrease of approximately 517 positions is projected," along with a projected savings of $31,981,526.
Mayor Mike Rawlings received the heads-up last week from Fort Worth District Manager Timothy Vierling, who will speak at Wednesday's meeting.
McKinney Boyd, the USPS's local spokesman, tells Unfair Park this morning that nothing's definite, that "no decision has been made about closing the downtown main post office." He says Wednesday's hearing is but the first step in a process that may result in its shuttering, but that the local office and USPS HQ have yet to make any decision about the main processing plant's fate.
"This meeting scheduled Wednesday is no more than an opportunity for us to get feedback and listen to the community about why or why we shouldn't continue" operating the Dallas Main Post Office, he says. Perhaps, I said, but there's a line in the briefing -- "The initial results of the study support the business case for consolidation" -- that suggests the USPS is certainly learning toward closing the main office.
"They are looking at every facet of its operations, but no decision has been made," Boyd says. "Mr. Vierling is the field manager here, and in order for this facility to close it would require headquarters' approval. Even Mr. Vierling has not determined this is the fact. He's required the gather the information and forward it to the local office and Postal Service HQ, so no decision has been made."
And, as the briefing says: "This study, currently in review at United States Postal Service Headquarters and its Area Office, is subject to change."
Nevertheless, he doesn't expect Wednesday's public hearing will be a quiet one -- not after the furor that erupted in '09.
"It is a big deal," Boyd says, "But have a responsibility to share our position with the community. We're trying to remain transparent. We may have some opposition, and people may have their professional and personal opinion, but we have a responsibility to say, 'Each and every day we open our doors, the previous day we lost $23 million,' and we have to remove the redundancy of processing mail."Summary Brief Public Meeting Dallas 11-22-11Public Meeting Presentation Dallas 12-07-11