Six local post office branches on list for possible consolidation

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  We've learned six post office branches in our area may feel the effects of budget cuts!

As part of a cost saving measure, half a dozen Richmond area branches or stations might be closed or consolidated.

We're at the Forest Hill station-- one of over six hundred nationwide--- including six in our area--- marked for possible review.

In this economy, the postal service is looking to save money--- consolidation may be part of the answer.

The Bellevue post office branch is within walking distance for Don Foushee.

"I only live right around the block," said Foushee as he tried to use the stamp vending machine at the Bellevue branch.

That branch is one of six locally marked for review.

Forest hill, Ridge, Saunders, Southside and West End locations are also on the list.

"Saunders is actually really close to my house I live in the fan so I'd hate to see that one go," said Brooke White.

"If we have some place to maybe consolidate one of the carriers with another carrier station possibly at the retail windows are within a couple of miles of each other," said Richmond District USPS Spokesperson, Cathy Boule.

Hit hard by online bill paying, email and more recently, the banking and mortgage industry, the agency is facing a nearly 7 billion dollar potential loss nationwide this fiscal year.

"The Richmond District alone since October 1st to now is down 16 percent in our mail volume from same period last year and we're also down 14 million dollars from that same period last year," said Boule.

You may have already noticed some changes.

For example, the vending machine here at the Bellevue branch was taken out of service on August 1st one of many ways the Richmond post office is looking to save money.

"We have found the cost to maintain them has far outweighed the number of people who come in and buy one stamp now," said Boule.

Bad news for Foushee.

"It's an inconvenience now for me now I've got to go to the main post office to mail these on time," said Foushee.

The postal service will take a look at the impact on employees as well as the community.

Down the road, you might be even asked to take a survey or speak at a community meeting.

But there's not a set deadline yet for the postal service to make changes.

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