Manzullo questions Postal Service data supporting closure of Rockford facility, requests delay of Dec. 8 public hearing
Online Staff Report
U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) is demanding to see the data the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is using to support the closure of the Rockford mail processing center and its move to Madison, Wis.
Manzullo also wants the public hearing — required as part of the consolidation study — to be postponed from Dec. 8 to early January to give local officials time to analyze the data and offer alternatives to shuttering the local facility and sending nearly 200 jobs north to Wisconsin. Such a move would also cause delays in mail delivery to homes and businesses in the eight northern Illinois counties (Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Ogle and Lee counties) served by Rockford.
In a letter to Postmaster General Pat Donahoe, Manzullo explained how he worked with Rockford postal officials during the last consolidation study in 2006 to present alternative information that persuaded the Postal Service to abandon its plan to move Rockford mail processing operations to the Chicago suburbs. Local officials again need to see the USPS data comparing operations in Rockford with Madison so they can correct it if necessary. And once they get the information, they need time to analyze it. That’s why Manzullo is requesting the public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m., Dec. 8, at the Clock Tower Resort be moved to early January.
“The Rockford processing center was under a similar review six years ago and we found that the data in the previous USPS was incorrect, and resulted in keeping the Rockford facility open,” Manzullo said. “It is impossible to effectively offer comment on a proposal without knowing the assumptions and information that underlie the proposal.”
The Rockford mail processing center is consistently rated among the most efficient centers in the nation, and Rockford workers provide excellent overnight delivery service to their customers in ZIP codes starting with 610 and 611.
Manzullo is working with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to keep the jobs and overnight delivery service in northern Illinois. Manzullo, Durbin and Kirk met with Donahoe Nov. 1 to share their concerns with the potential move of operations to Wisconsin and the damage it would cause to northern Illinois. During the meeting, Donahoe said he would share the study data with the Members of Congress.
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