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Postal Service will study Leucadia site for possible closure again

ENCINITAS — The Post Office at 1160 N. Coast Highway 101 is once again going to be studied by the United States Postal Service to determine the feasibility of its closure. 

The USPS’s CIC (Capital Investment Committee) made the recommendation for the study to Postal Service Headquarters, and was approved Tuesday, according to Eva Jackson, a spokesperson for the USPS.

Any timetable for when the study would begin is yet to be determined.

In May 2009, the mail facility was put on a list for possible consolidation, though that study was placed on a backburner at the time because other projects took precedence, Jackson said.

The study will look at the amount of people using the facility and whether another location nearby, such as the Post Office on Garden View Road, could absorb that workload if the location did close. The study will also look at the cost of continuing to lease the space.

The Leucadia Post Office has been at the current site since October 1956, when the USPS signed their lease, according to Jackson.

The current lease is set to expire Sept. 20.

The reason for the possible closure isn’t related to government sequestration. Even though the Postal Service is part of the federal government, they don’t receive taxpayer dollars, Jackson said.

According to financial numbers the USPS released in May, the mail service ended the second quarter of its 2013 fiscal year (Jan.1 to March 31) with a net loss of $1.9 billion.

Some of that is attributed to the drop in first class mail being sent.

“First class mail has dropped 25 percent since 2006,” Jackson said. “We run our business off of people mailing things, and with the Internet, bill paying online, getting your statements online, people don’t use the mail very much, especially first-class mail. It has hit us hard and so now we have to accommodate for that.

“We have to make changes because there’s not as much mail in the system as there was back in 2006 and there probably never will be.”

The financial report states that the Postal Service needs to save $20 billion annually by 2016, but cannot do so without legislative action, including in part: Requiring a USPS Health Care Plan; adjusting delivery frequency that would serve six-day package delivery and five-day mail delivery; and allowing the USPS the authority to expand products and services, and reform workers’ compensation.

While there isn’t an average time length for how long such a study would take, once the study is concluded, the USPS does have regulations in place to notify customers and businesses of the decision within 60 days, allowing for public comments.

Following that period, the public will receive a 30-day notice of final determination, to which an appeal may be filed. Their regulations state that no Postal Service-operated retail facility may be closed sooner than 60 days after the first day of the posting of the final determination.


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