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Mail Processing Center Gets Reprieve

By Kelsey Card

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The United States Postal Service will postpone the closure of the Gateway Mail Processing Center in Springfield.

Thursday’s announcement buys Congress more time to draft legislation that could solve some of the money issues facing the postal service.

It also gives dozens of employees who work at the center hope they won’t have to move to keep working for the post office.

The plan to shut the center down would have moved local mail processing to Portland.

Customers worried about the delays that might cause and the runaround.

For example, if you sent a letter from one house in Eugene to another, it would go from Eugene to Portland, and then back to Eugene.

“I’m glad they’re going to stay. They’re central to the whole Lane County, Eugene-Springfield location,” said customer Patty Poniecki.

“It’s a big deal for this community to have something stay open if it can, so I think it’s great,” said customer Tita Luisa.

If the closure plans pass in 2014, close to 70 positions would be eliminated.

But most of the employees who work there are part of a union and cannot be laid off. They would simply be transferred.

In 2011, the Gateway center processed 349 million pieces of mail — a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

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