Sending a letter from, say, Lynn Haven to the Beach could soon take one to two days longer. The reason? Cuts by the U.S. Postal Service.
The postal service is on the brink of bankruptcy and is estimating a forty-seven-percent drop in regular mail over the next decade. Postal officials announced a proposal to cut services Monday that includes the general mail facility in Panama City.
The postal service plans to close about 200 general mail facilities, like the one on Sherman Avenue. These facilities receive process and then send out letters and packages. If you mail a letter in Panama City, it usually arrives at it's destination within a day. But President of the Local American Postal Workers Union, Dee Carr, says under the new plan that would change.
"That would mean that all of tour one which processes the mail at night for the delivery the next day would be eliminated. All that mail would then be worked in Pensacola and would probably be worked maybe during the next day, could be worked 2 days later, could be worked 3 days later," said Carr.
The postal service has been considering changes at the general mail facility off Sherman Avenue for months. Postal workers staged a protest in September against the cuts but the postal service is losing billions of dollars to the internet.
"They’re choosing electronic bill payment. They’re choosing electronic communication via the internet and email, things like that," said VP of Network Operations, David Williams.
If the proposal passes, 28,000 postal workers will lose their jobs. Carr doesn't know how many of the 65 local workers will be effected. But the postal service wants to hear from the public before making any changes.
"They have to do a public forum first, get information from the public and then they will supposedly make their decision," said Carr.
That public input meeting is scheduled to take place December 20th at 7 p.m. at Gulf Coast State College.