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      Florence mail center closing means local mail goes to Columbia

      The United States Postal Service announced nearly two years ago that it was gradually phasing out its mail processing facility on West Evans Street in Florence.

      It closed part of the facility last February, and officials are preparing to close it for good in January 2015.

      All local mail will now be processed in Columbia.

      USPS Spokesperson Harry Spratlin said you can now expect to receive local mail within two days.

      Florence United Postal Workers President Issac Nixon said he believes it will take more than two days for you to get local mail.

      He's hoping postal officials will reconsider the decision to shutdown the Florence mail processing plant.

      "I ask people to look at your mail service, ask your neighbors. Talk to people. You can see that the mail service has dramatically changed. And with this second phase, we don't even know how much the mail service is going to change after that," said Nixon.

      He added postal workers plan to hold town hall meetings to educate the public on what could happen when the facility is gone.

      The initial closure affected about 90 jobs. Most of those employees transferred to other facilities.

      Spratlin said the permanent closure will impact 68 workers who will also have the opportunity to transfer to other postal facilities.