COLUMBIA, 12/1/11  (Beat Byte) --  A standing room only crowd of Quincy, Illinois postal employees and residents criticized a proposal to move Quincy's postal processing facility to Columbia during a November 22 public hearing with the US Postal Service. 

The protests could dash local hopes for a Columbia jobs boost the facility move may provide. 
"If you are going to change the paradigm of delivery...don't you think you're just going to drive more customers away?" Quincy Mayor John Spring said, to applause and loud cheers the Quincy Herald-Whig reported.  "Derisive laughter rippled through the audience" and meeting attendees also threatened to boycott the postal service. 

The move has been proposed as part of a nationwide USPS effort to cut costs in the face of rising financial problems.  As reported locally, it would shift a potential $3 million payroll from Quincy to Columbia.  On the downside, it would eliminate jobs -- and overnight delivery of first-class mail -- in the Quincy area. 

The impact on rural customers "would be catastrophic," said Linda Lueckenhoff, mayor of nearby Ewing, Mo. "Not everybody has Internet access," she said, in answer to the big shift toward email and social media messaging.  Postal officials also said 18 jobs would be eliminated with the Columbia move and possibly 54 of 70 jobs affected.  

"Postal employees Randy Miller and Scott Boyer said the Columbia facility is maxed out in its capacity to handle mail and would need additional space and staff to handle the extra mail from Quincy," the Herald-Whig reported.  
(Originally reported December 1 in our online newsletter).

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