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      Public to weigh in on postal realignment

      Toledo area post office / file photo

      Postal patrons will get a chance to sound off on the future of postal operations in Toledo and the region when the U.S. Postal Service holds its public hearing on the matter.

      The meeting will take place on December 29 from 7:00"9:00 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.

      A study commenced September 15 to ascertain if there was a more cost effective means of sorting and distributing mail in the region. As the Postal Service confronts massive deficits and reduced demand, it finds itself with excess personnel and facilities. Recommended for closure was the Toledo Process and Distribution Facility on Dorr St. Initial findings of the study determined the Postal Service could use excess capacity at facilities in Detroit and Columbus to sort mail.

      Also recommended for closure were dozens of small, rural post offices around the state.

      At the public meeting, postal service representatives will explain the reasons and the data behind the proposal to close the Toledo facility and listen to public input. The data and presentation materials will be available on line at The Postal Service will accept written comments through January 13. Those comments can be mailed to: Manager of Consumer and Industry Contact, Northern Ohio District; 2400 Orange Avenue Room 25; Cleveland, Ohio 44101-9631

      On Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Postal Service has agreed to a moratorium on closing any post offices until Congress has had a chance to examine postal operations and change current federal law to allow them to become more competitive.

      "This will give [Congress] the opportunity with some cost savings, to save some jobs," said Sen Brown. "Right now, the postal service cannot compete or expand services to compete for revenue."

      Sen. Brown did not have a timeline as to when Congress would take up the financial woes of the post office.