USPS pauses decision over Milan postal facility move 

The Quad Cities USPS Processing and Distribution Center has been spared a possible closure for now thanks to the postal service’s decision to pause any moves until 2025. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The U.S. Postal Service has decided to delay making changes to mail processing centers until at least next year, effectively putting off a move that would have eventually rerouted much of Quad Cities’ mail to Des Moines. 

According to a letter from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the postal service will pause any implementation of moves for Mail Processing Centers “at least until after January 1, 2025.”

In response to the letter, U.S. Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Illinois) released this statement Wednesday, May 15: “The Milan Processing and Distribution Center provides essential services for communities in Northwestern Illinois, and any action that would put local jobs at risk or diminish customer service is unacceptable. I am pleased that USPS has paused any potential changes through 2024, and I will continue to work to protect jobs in Milan and ensure that our neighbors receive their mail on time.” 

About 50 concerned citizens showed up at a February public meeting in Milan to learn more about the $40 billion nationwide USPS upgrade plan. The meeting was held to take public comment on the  Delivering for America plan. 

Representatives with the USPS said then that the plan is needed to transform the postal service “from an organization in financial and operational crisis to one that is self-sustaining and high performing.” 

At the February meeting, the USPS said it intended to keep the Quad Cities Processing and Distribution Center in Milan (south of the Quad Cities International Airport) open and doing about $6 million of upgrading and modernizing to the facility. The USPS said the review would not cause career employee layoffs. 

There is some difference of opinion, however, in how the changes would impact USPS employees. Congress stopped a USPS plan a decade ago that would have closed and centralized several service centers around the nation. 

In his letter this week, Mr. Dejoy wrote some USPS staff are laboring under the misconception this plan is similar. 

“I also know that there is a legacy desire among some segments of our workforce at the local level to maintain the status quo, which I understand but frankly am disappointed by,” he wrote. ”Through continued training and education we will work to try to change the hearts and minds and sell the virtues of our plan for service excellence and financial health.”

USPS employees at the February meeting said they feared they would have to move to keep their jobs or their jobs would eventually be downsized. 

There also were concerns that one portion of the plan, which called for the transfer of much of the mail processing operations to the Des Moines Processing & Distribution Center, would cause more delays to the mail service. This would mean mail gathered in the area and destined for an area address would be shipped to Des Moines and then back for delivery. Currently, if you mail from Moline to a Moline address, the parcel wouldn’t leave the local area. There were concerns the extra travel time would mean delays.  

Last week, a bipartisan group of 26 senators called on USPS to pause all changes under its network modernization plan until an independent regulator could weigh the merits of the plan. 

U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-Peoria, Illinois) also urged congressional leaders to prevent USPS facilities that were not meeting the 2023 goals for First-Class on-time mail delivery rates from being downsized, protecting  rural communities and workers.  

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