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      158 jobs at stake if Florence Postal Processing Center closes

      Officials with the United States Postal Service say 158 jobs could be affected if they(USPC) close the Florence postal processing facility.

      It says a study found closing the facility wouldn't have a huge impact on mail delivery and it would save $3.8 million a year.

      "This plant is the probably the one that has the least capacity and capability of sorting the mail and working the mail," said Harry Spratlin, USPS, Communications Coordinator for Greater South Carolina.

      Spokesman Harry Spratlin says 158 people work at the processing center.

      He says no workers will be laid off because of union agreements.

      Thirty-six employees would be eligible to retire.

      Spratlin says the others could stay at the post office attached to the center, be reassigned to other locations within 50 miles, or be given the opportunity to bid or apply for other postal jobs across the nation.

      Florence County Councilman Al Bradley says he understands the postal service is trying to save money, but says the closure will impact Florence County.

      "Downsizing is a part of what's going on in the country right now."

      But Bradley said, "158 people who could possibly be going somewhere else to spend their tax dollars, and that should impact us some."

      The Florence Post Office connected to the processing center will stay open.

      A public hearing on the possible closing is set for Monday, December 19th at 6:30 in the West Florence High School Auditorium.