Manzullo Hails USPS Decision to Reconsider Plan to Move Rockford Mail Operations to Wisconsin

Rockford only targeted Illinois sorting center left off Postal Service Closure List

[ROCKFORD]  Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan), who has led local efforts to keep open the Rockford mail processing center that provides overnight mail delivery to eight northern Illinois counties, learned today that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is reconsidering its plan to move Rockford operations to Madison, Wisconsin, which would eliminate 200 local jobs and delay mail service throughout northern Illinois.

While announcing the closure of six other Illinois sorting centers today as part of a nationwide consolidation effort, the Postal Service singled out Rockford for further review and said it is widening the study to include possible consolidations with the sorting centers at Carol Stream and Palatine. In addition, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue has accepted Manzullo’s invitation to come to Rockford to view operations personally. A date for the visit is pending.

“While we are not out of the woods yet, it is a huge victory that Rockford was not on the closing list today,” Manzullo said. “Rockford was singled out for further study because moving mail sorting operations to Wisconsin – and delaying delivery to eight northern Illinois counties – did not make economic sense. It wouldn’t save any money, especially considering the high efficiency of the Rockford workers. It’s a message more than 600 citizens and I delivered at the public hearing in Rockford on Jan. 5, and it obviously caused the postal officials to have second thoughts.

“I thank the postal service for heeding our concerns, stepping back, and taking another look at this. As the postal service embarks on yet another consolidation study, you can rest assured that I will be monitoring the situation closely with the top postal officials in Washington, DC. In addition, I just learned that U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has accepted my invitation to come to Rockford and view operations firsthand. We are working on dates for the visit.”

At the Jan. 5 public meeting, Manzullo presented USPS officials with resolutions of support approved on very short notice by 18 communities in northern Illinois. The closure of the Rockford sorting center would delay mail delivery to the eight counties served by zip codes beginning with 610 and 611. Those counties include Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, JoDaviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Lee, and Ogle.

In a letter to Postmaster General Pat Donahoe earlier this year, Manzullo explained how he worked with Rockford postal officials during the last consolidation study in 2006 to present alternative information that convinced the Postal Service to abandon its plan to move Rockford mail processing operations to the Chicago suburbs.