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Published February 23, 2012, 10:09 PM

GF Mail Processing Facility To Stay Open

An announcement from the United States Postal Service brought good news for Grand Forks Thursday. The Customer Service Mail Processing Center there will stay open. And local leaders say it's because hard work has paid off.

An announcement from the United States Postal Service brought good news for Grand Forks Thursday. The Customer Service Mail Processing Center there will stay open. And local leaders say it's because hard work has paid off.

"We survived that, and I'm very happy about that, and I'm very proud that the city council approved the resolution," Grand Forks City Council President Hal Gershman said.

A resolution passed Monday by the Grand Forks City Council asked that Grand Forks be taken off the United States Postal Service list of possible closures. And today 34 jobs were saved.

"Any time a facility closes and you're going to lose jobs, that's not good news for a community," Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce President Barry Wilfahrt said.

The postal service spent five months studying the feasibility of consolidating the Grand Forks mail processing center into the Fargo facility.

Thursday's announcement stated, "there was no significant opportunity to improve efficiency or service through consolidation of mail processing operations."

"All three members of the North Dakota congressional delegation have been very involved and they've been all over this issue from day one, and we really owe them a debt of gratitude," Wilfahrt said.

Facing billions of dollars in debt, USPS is consolidating across the country. Smaller facilities like Devils Lake are taking a hit. That operation will move to Grand Forks.

"Certainly also understand, you know, Devils Lake will have some concerns in terms of their service and I'm sure they'll have a little different perspective on it. While this helps Grand Forks, it doesn't necessarily help some of our neighbors," Wilfahrt said.

"They're probably settled down for awhile. We need to always be vigilant, and I think they'll probably take a hiatus for awhile," Gershman said.

The postal service has experienced a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail volume since 2006.

Other towns already rely on the facility in Grand Forks. As part of consolidation efforts, East Grand Forks mail is sorted in Grand Forks so a move to Fargo would have affected them as well.

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