After getting a near two-year reprieve, the United States Postal Service says it will soon move its outgoing mail processing operations from Johnson City to Knoxville. As Press staff writer Madison Mathews reported Tuesday, the switch is expected to begin in June or July.
The plan to move mail processing services first surfaced in early 2011, but was given more time for consideration. The move comes as a result of a study of 215 mail processing centers nationwide.
Local postal employees say the proposal would result in job cuts and negatively impact mail delivery in the area. They believe moving mail-sorting operations to Knoxville would impede reliable mail service for customers whose ZIP codes begin with 376 or 242.
When the idea first surfaced two years ago, officials with the American Postal Workers Union said as many as 90 employees would be impacted by the move. Postal Service officials have previously estimated that 33 employees would be affected in a move that is projected to save $2 million.
Postal Service Corporate Communications Specialist David Walton told the Press in 2011 the plan might mean the mail would travel farther, but people should expect delivery times to stay close to the same.
All first-class mail should be delivered in between two to three days. Express and overnight mailings would go to Knoxville, but the postal service still would guarantee delivery.
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