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      Florence mail processing center moving to Columbia

      Columbia Mail Processing Center

      After months of speculation, and a public hearing, the US Postal Service has decided to move all mail processing operations from the Florence facility on West Evans Street to a processing center in Columbia.

      The USPS made the decision after studying post offices all over the country. 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.

      The USPS says at this time, there is no change to the Florence post office itself, just the distribution part of the operation.

      158 people work at the mail processing facility. Spokesman Harry Spratlin of those 158 jobs, 39 will be eliminated but those employees will have the opportunity to bid on other jobs across the country. There are already jobs available for the other 119 employees.

      As for the change will impact delivery of your mail, Priority and Express shipping will not change. First-Class delivery will take up to 2-3 days instead of 1-2 days.

      According to a news release from the USPS, the company has experienced a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail volume since 2006.

      "The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure," said Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan. "Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation."

      No specific date has been set for the closure of the facility. The USPS had agreed to a moratorium on any closures until May 15th, 2012, so it would most likely be some time after that.

      A list of mail processing studies and their status is available here.

      A list of processing facilities studied and answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found here. ??