Postal Service pauses plan to close Wyoming mail processing centers

Noah Zahn
Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange

CHEYENNE — United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday his intention to pause the planned changes to the mail delivery network that include closing the Cheyenne and Casper Processing and Distribution Centers.
The national restructuring plan calls for all Wyoming mail to be sent to Colorado or Montana for sorting, and then back to Wyoming communities for distribution.
DeJoy committed to pausing implementation of the plan, which the agency calls “Delivering for America,” until after Jan. 1, 2025.
DeJoy’s decision came in response to concerns expressed by federal lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.
“I am encouraged the U.S. Postal Service finally listened to the people of Wyoming’s concerns and halted its disastrous plans to recategorize the Cheyenne and Casper Processing and Distribution Centers,” Lummis said in a prepared statement. “Folks across the Cowboy State rely on timely mail delivery for their medicine, to pay their bills and to communicate with one another. I hope USPS continues to think about the true impacts this restructuring would have on our country’s most rural communities before downsizing any of our state’s processing facilities.”
On May 8, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada; and Lummis led 22 Senate colleagues in calling on the USPS to halt the changes until a time that they can be examined by the Postal Regulatory Commission and addressed by the Postal Service.
In April, U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., and Lummis introduced the Postal Operations Stay Timely and Local (POSTAL) Act, which would prevent the USPS from closing, consolidating or downgrading its processing and distribution centers nationwide if such an action would remove the sole centers within a state or negatively impact mail delivery. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and the House bill is co-led by U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.
“If fulfilled, the USPS modernization plan threatens the promise of timely, secure mail delivery by transporting the bulk of Wyoming’s mail out of state, while also forcing many USPS processing and distribution center employees to either relocate or lose their jobs,” Hageman said in a prepared statement. “The closure of processing and distribution centers bring serious election integrity concerns by forcing the transport of mailed-in ballots out of state, introducing the potential for delivery of ballots after an election concludes.”
In response to the May 8 letter from lawmakers, DeJoy said that the USPS does not see these planned actions as consequential to service, and that the changes would be reliable and cost-effective. The postmaster general continued, stating that the career workforce will not see layoffs, new equipment will be installed, facilities will not close, deferred maintenance will be performed, and working conditions will be substantially improved.
“Through continued training and education, we will work to try to change hearts and minds and to sell the virtues of our plan for service excellence and financial health,” DeJoy wrote in the letter.
He also wrote that the investments in the facilities will not commence for now. The USPS estimated the annual cost savings of the plan to be between $133 million and $177 million, and the investments to be more than $430 million.