Business

Post office consolidation in Federal Way

The U.S. Postal Service plans to sell its property at 32829 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way and transfer mail operations to the Twin Lakes branch.

The change will be effective April 24. The postal service would negotiate with a new owner to keep a small retail operation at the Pacific Highway location, said Ernie Swanson, spokesman for the USPS Seattle District. Customers would still be able to mail letters and packages as well as use post office boxes and purchase stamps. However, all mail carriers and delivery would be based out of the Twin Lakes branch, 1815 SW Campus Drive. None of the 47 employees (clerks, carriers and management) at the Pacific Highway branch would lose their jobs, Swanson said.

A declining volume of mail has forced the postal service to consolidate facilities nationwide, Swanson said, adding that U.S. mail volume was down 13 percent with a $3.8 billion loss in fiscal year 2009.

"The post office is in a tight financial situation," said Auburn resident Don Cheney, former local president of the American Postal Workers Union who retired in 2003. He had worked a few years as a clerk in Federal Way, and was surprised at the announcement. "They're trying to save money anyway they can and I can't fault them for that."

Regarding the move to Twin Lakes: "They'll be very crowded in that one building."

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