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Manasota Postal Plant To Send Mail To Fort Myers

Postal Service study says that it would save $9.5 million annually by sending Manatee and Sarasota counties' mail to Fort Myers.

If you're mailing that rent check or bill to Bradenton or around Sarasota, it might not be there the next day now that the Manasota Processing & Distribution Center operations will be relocated to Fort Myers. 

The U.S. Postal Service released a final study Friday, Jan. 11, announcing the closure and will send all mail in Manatee and Sarasota counties and some employees to its Fort Myers center about 90 miles south saying it would save $8.9 million in the first year and would annually save $9.5 million in the move. 

The consolidation of the distribution center, 850 Tallevast Road, is expected to take place this year. 

The reason the Postal Service gives is that there is a "significant decline" in mail originating from Manatee and Sarasota and the consolidation would increase efficiency. 

Postal Service Spokeswoman Enola Rice told The Herald-Tribune that next-day service will not be met with the move: 

"The Postal Service is going to move forward with asking for the service standard to change," spokeswoman Enola Rice said. "We have to make changes; it's not business as usual anymore."

The slower delivery standard is a critical money saver for an agency that lost nearly $16 billion last year, Rice said.

The new standard will allow for fewer mail processing centers spaced farther apart geographically.

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As for the jobs, 52 clerks, 19 mail handlers and 23 maintenance employees will transfer from Manasota to Fort Myers. 

However, 203 craft employees plus 19 supervisors have to find other jobs within the postal service, according to the report. 

Rice told SNN that no layoffs would be needed:

"The great news is that we're able to do that without layoffs. Within the last two years we were able to reduce our employee count by approximately 60,000 career employees. Again, employees are not laid off. They are offered other positions within the Postal Service." 

The Postal Service will pay for relocation for mail handlers that will be transferred to Ft. Myers, according to the study, and will spend $250,000 on those employees to relocate them.

The facility will not be completely closed. Five custodians will remain at the plant for building services along with 13 mail handlers, seven clerks and one stamp distribution office so the building will act as a hub and still handle bulk and permit mail until a different site can be found, according to the report.  

The Postal Service posted a $15.9 billion loss in the last year, reported Reuters.

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