Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/14/2011 04:40:19 PM PST

Regional mail processing centers in the cities of Industry and Redlands remain on the chopping block, despite the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service’s decision to delay closing any of its facilities until mid-May.

Each site has 750 employees, postal officials said.

The Postal Service on Wednesday said it would hold off on closures for several weeks to give Congress more time to pass legislation that would give it more authority and liquidity to stave off bankruptcy.

“(The Postal Service) will not be implementing any changes or closures until May,” said Richard Maher, a regional spokesman for U.S. postal sites in Los Angeles and Orange. “We will continue the study process for any of the facilities we’ve been reviewing. Decisions will be made, but we won’t move forward on the implementation of any of those decisions until May.”

The Postal Service is considering closing its San Bernardino Processing Center, which is in Redlands, the Industry processing center and 250 others as part of a plan to reduce costs by $20billion by 2015.

There are 487 processing facilities in the United States. Nearly 30,000 workers may be laid off nationwide.

Potential closures of the San Bernardino County and San Gabriel Valley processing centers are being studied though no official determination has been made, postal officials said.

The Industry operation, serving the San Gabriel Valley and West End of the Inland Empire, is being considered for
consolidation with postal facilities in Anaheim and Santa Ana. Operations at the San Bernardino Processing and Distribution Center, 1900 W. Redlands Blvd., Redlands, would be consolidated into the postal center in Moreno Valley.

Maher and Eva Jackson, San Bernardino area spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said the agency would work to place displaced employees in other postal facilities and offices.

Talk of the closures have concerned those in the local business community who say the loss of the commerce involving about 750 employees at each location would harm the regional economy.

Kathy Thurston, executive director of the Redlands Chamber of Commerce, said the impact to Redlands would be large.

She said the processing center is surrounded by a number of retail vendors and restaurants that would be hurt by the loss of customers.

To read entire story, click here.