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Federal Way post offices avoid the closure list
Tacoma, Kent and Seattle postal stations are on the list for possible 2010 closures, but Federal Way's facilities are safe.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is facing a $7 billion revenue loss, mostly due to the economy and the nation's increasing use of digital media for communication. The USPS is considering eliminating and consolidating postal stations. About 700 offices nationwide are on a possible closure list established by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Some media outlets have reported a Federal Way station will close. Ernie Swanson, United States Postal Service Washington spokesman, said this is not true.
The city features two postal stations. The Federal Way post office is at 32829 Pacific Highway S. The Twin Lakes office is at 1815 SW Campus Drive. Both will remain open, Swanson said.
Possible closures were based on a number of factors, he said. The number of employees, the distance to the closest station, walk-in revenue compared to last year and the year prior, and whether the office is located in a USPS-owned building were among the criteria, he said.
Joan Warrington, Federal Way's station manager, said her post office is not going anywhere.
"There is no change on the very near horizon," Warrington said.
But there are some concerns. Revenue is down. She was not aware of the exact degree, but said the change is noticeable: "It's down. I know it's down in double digits," Warrington said.
There were some speculations the building would be put up for sale, Warrington said. The station's employees were reassured their jobs are secure, she said.
Warrington said each office is different. The United States Postal Service must look at each postal station separately and consider its strengths and weaknesses before making final decisions on which stations will close and which will remain open.
Even if the postal service decided in the future to shut down the Federal Way location, it would still offer a retail presence, she said. The carrier operations would move, but people could still drop off letters and buy stamps, for example, Warrington said.
"I want to reassure the people in our area that even if the carrier operation leaves, the retail operation will stay," she said.
The Twin Lakes branch is also doing well, said the manager there, who requested her name not be printed. She was not aware of the station's walk-in revenue, but said there was no fear, prior to the list's release, that the station could close.
All the offices considered for closure are in urban areas. Kent's Midway station, Tacoma's Martin Luther King Jr. and South Tacoma stations, Seattle's Federal station, Yakima's Union Gap branch and Spokane's Trentwood office are scheduled for closure, Swanson said.
"We aren't looking at any rural post offices in this study," Swanson said.
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