Today’s news:

Brooklyn Post Offices to remain open

Rumors of several Brooklyn post offices’ demise are greatly exaggerated, postal officials said last week.

“There is a consolidation, but there will be none in Brooklyn,” said Unites States Postal Service spokesperson Darlene Reid.

Originally, seven borough post offices were slated for a consolidation study, including branches in Sunset Park, East New York (New Lots), and the Newkirk, Highlawn, Halsey, Farragut and Cypress Hills branches, but none made the short list of possible closures in the area.

Reid said branches in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens are slated for possible shuttering, but even these have to go through a further review process.

“No decisions will be made until the review is finalized, which will take months, and no changes will be made until after our fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, and there will be public notification for any office selected for consolidation,” she said.

Reid said the review process once a consolidation is announced includes posting a notice in the said post office window and a distribution of surveys.

Reid noted that the postal service is not tax subsidized, and that the cost to operate the system is wholly borne by customers when they purchase postage, buy shipping services or other mail services.

“We are thoroughly examining all aspects of our operations to identify areas to operate more efficiently in order to continue to provide timely, trustworthy, reasonably priced mail service as we have for 234 years,” she said.

Reid said that in today’s world about 30 percent of postal retail transactions are now conducted at locations other than post office stations or branches.

More than 56,000 supermarkets, drug stores and other retailers sell stamps, and there are more than 18,000 automated teller machines at participating banks and financial institutions.

Postage can also be printed and paid for using a personal computer at usps.com, she said.

A total of 203 billion pieces of mail were processed by USPS in 2008, 4.5 percent fewer than in the previous year, and USPS is projecting a further decline to between 170 and 180 billion for 2009. In Brooklyn alone, mail volume is down 17.2 percent, said Reid.

City Councilmember Vincent Gentile hailed the announcement as a win for the community he represents.

“The Brooklyn Postmaster’s office confirmed that both of our local post offices - the Ovington branch and the Dyker Heights branch - are safe from closure or consolidation for the time being,” Gentile said.

“Seniors and local businesses won’t have to trek dozens of blocks for the services they need on a day-to-day basis, and I want to thank Brooklyn Postmaster Joseph Chiossone for his responsiveness to my opposition to the proposed closure of these branches,” he added.

 

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