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What moving the S.B. post office distribution center means for you

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It was packed room at the Century Center on Michigan Street Thursday night for the public hearing into the distribution center controversy.

The public meeting was on the heels of a public rally held Wednesday night where workers spoke out against the possible change.

The South Bend Processing center at 424 S. Michigan Street is currently under review. It is possible that the distribution center would relocate to Fort Wayne at a savings of six million dollars each year.

But moving the center would mean slashing up to 220 local, middle class jobs. Some of the employees have been with the postal service for more than 40 years.

Below is a breakdown of the numbers provided by the survey:

Annual mail processing employee savings: $1,853,845

Annual management savings: $1,17,020

Annual maintenance savings: $2,549,580

Annual transportation savings $517,655

Proposed annual savings in the study: $6,097,100

Cyd Maravolo, of South Bend, showed up for the meeting to show her support in keeping the distribution center local, "I love the post office, I love South Bend, we are an all American city and I believe it should stay here.

Maravolo said she would raise the cost of a postage stamp and cut Saturday mail delivery if it would mean keeping the distribution center, "It just makes sense to keep it here."

The biggest change that the average person would notice is a lag in delivery. Items that you would normally receive over night you would get at least an extra day later, in some cases several days.

"220 jobs is 220 too many, for Heaven sake we're an all American city, we need these people here, we need our post office here, it can do better here and it just makes common sense," Maravolo added.

I didn't speak with a single person Thursday night at the Century Center that supported moving the distribution center to Fort Wayne.

The management team that spoke candidly at the meeting admitted that jobs could be slashed, but said that placement options would be considered to keep as many employees.

"They're saying it's just a study but we're very concerned," Tom Landis, of Granger said. Landis retired from the South Bend postal service after 37 years of service.

"We need elected officials at the national level to step up and dot he right thing for the post office and for the community," Landis added.

The deadline for written comments and concerns about the survey is December 2nd.

An employee told me at the distribution center that if this were to be approved they think it would happen quickly. They told me that the center could close as soon as February if the decision is made to move the mail to Fort Wayne--a deadline was not given at the meeting.

 

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