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Akron mayor calls for Postmaster General to reopen city's USPS processing facility

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Posted at 1:29 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 13:29:07-05

AKRON, Ohio — While many are dealing with missing or delayed packages and deliveries, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued a statement Wednesday, calling for the immediate reopening of the United States Postal Service’s Akron processing facility.

Horrigan outlined the importance of the USPS, from delivering prescriptions and essential goods to absentee ballots and important letters to loved ones.

In his statement, Horrigan said many Americans will likely remember this holiday season as their gifts, cards, bills or essential items failed to arrive on time.

“This is despite the extraordinary efforts of thousands of men and women who work tirelessly to sort, process, and deliver the mail each week,” Horrigan said. “USPS leadership under this federal administration has wholeheartedly failed to invest the resources needed to support these workers and ensure that mail services can be maintained at an appropriate level given the challenges of COVID-19 and unprecedented demand.”

Noting that, Horrigan said there is a “renewed change to fulfill our obligation to provide a well-functioning and efficient postal service."

Akron’s mayor said with Congress authorizing $10 billion in funding for the USPS in the recently-passed stimulus package, now is the time to reopen the Akron USPS facility as a fully operation processing center.

The facility in Akron closed in 2015, along with five other centers in Ohio, leaving only two facilities in the entire state—one in Cleveland and one in Columbus.

“Not only can the Akron processing center once again support hundreds of good paying jobs, it will also enable Akron residents and businesses to efficiently send and receive postal goods. Postal facilities and resources must be located close to where people live and work,” Horrigan said.

In the statement, Horrigan formally calls on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to “immediately begin a meaningful planning process that will result in the reopening of the Akron USPS processing facility in 2021.”

Horrigan said he also has asked members of the state’s congressional delegation to take action and encourage the reopening of the Akron USPS facility, as well as others in the area.

Read Horrigan’s full statement below:

Few institutions are more important to social, civic, and economic life in America than the United States Postal Service. By delivering everything from vital prescriptions and essential goods to absentee ballots and letters to ill or isolated relatives: the USPS is a critical, life-supporting link between citizens and their government, commerce, and loved ones. This has never been truer than during a pandemic when Americans are being asked or encouraged to shop for goods and services, connect with one another, vote, and transact business from home—which often means, by mail.

Unfortunately, many Americans will remember this holiday season as the year their gifts, cards, purchases, bills or essential paperwork failed to arrive on time. This is despite the extraordinary efforts of thousands of men and women who work tirelessly to sort, process, and deliver the mail each week. USPS leadership under this federal administration has wholeheartedly failed to invest the resources needed to support these workers and ensure that mail services can be maintained at an appropriate level given the challenges of COVID-19 and unprecedented demand.

However, there is a renewed chance to fulfill our obligation to provide a well-functioning and efficient postal service. Congress has authorized $10 billion in funding for the USPS in the most recent stimulus package. And the federal government owes it to the American people to use those funds to improve services—plain and simple.

Now is the time to reopen the Akron USPS facility as a fully operational processing center. In 2015, the Akron processing facility was closed along with five other centers in Ohio–leaving Ohioans underserved with now only two facilities in the entire state (Cleveland and Columbus). The moment that ill-fated plan was announced, the City of Akron strongly opposed the closure because we knew that the citizens of Akron would suffer.

But with the support of USPS leadership, this facility is prepared to spring back to life. Not only can the Akron processing center once again support hundreds of good paying jobs, it will also enable Akron residents and businesses to efficiently send and receive postal goods. Postal facilities and resources must be located close to where people live and work.

No citizen of Akron should worry about whether their rent or utility check will be received, whether their prescription or benefit check will arrive, or whether their vote will be counted because of decisions made in Washington, D.C. Our senior citizens, who are especially vulnerable right now—both to health risks and also to social and economic isolation—will suffer the most if nothing is done.

Therefore, I am formally calling upon Postmaster General DeJoy to immediately begin a meaningful planning process that will result in the reopening of the Akron USPS processing facility in 2021. I have also asked members of Ohio’s congressional delegation to press the USPS into action and support the reopening of the processing center in Akron, as well as other centers in Ohio.

I look forward to engaging in meaningful dialogue regarding how this solution could facilitate sustainable and effective mail service in our community and restore jobs during our economic recovery.

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