With the decision to close processing centers in Bend, Eugene, Pendleton and Salem, all mail will now be sent to Portland
By Jennifer Jenks
Last December, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of any post office or mail processing facility until May 15, in order to take the time to review the possible closures and collect input from public meetings.
Last Thursday, the USPS announced it would be moving all mail processing operations from the Bend Customer Service Mail Processing Center, among others, to the Portland Processing and Distribution Center.
Once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation of the Bend Customer Service Mail Processing Center will cease.
The USPS has experienced a 25 percent decline in first-class mail volume since 2006 and receives no tax dollars for its operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, postal products and services.
“The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” said Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the postal service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”
Specific dates have not been set for the transition. Until a specific date has been announced, residential and business mailers will continue to be served through the current facilities.
“The closure of the mail processing facilities in Bend, Pendleton, Eugene and Salem will not only add unnecessary delays to the delivery of mail and put a greater burden on hard-working postal employees throughout the state, it also threatens the integrity of Oregon’s vote-by-mail system,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.
“These closures will make it unclear how long it will take mail ballots to travel from Central and Eastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley to Portland area for processing and then back to the appropriate local election officials. In Oregon, all ballots are cast by mail and in a presidential election year, where more vote-by-mail ballots are expected to be cast, not knowing how long it will take to process these ballots could disproportionately affect rural voters. Closing these facilities carries many unintended consequences. It is not a risk worth taking.”
A list of mail processing studies and their status is available at: usps.com/ourfuturenetwork
Specific information about individual studies, including public meeting summaries and summary briefs, is posted on the website: usps.com/areamailprocessing as it becomes available.