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Don't eliminate first class mail in Madison

Jun 11, 2013
In The News

There is currently a threat to our community’s ability to receive the type of mail services that promote economic vitality in our region. All of us need to do our part to make sure this does not occur.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has proposed eliminating first-class mail at its Madison Processing & Distribution Center—a move that will have deep and direct consequences for families and businesses across Madison and surrounding communities like Sun Prairie.

This plan represents a misguided attempt to cut minor costs at the expense of major services, and I encourage all south central Wisconsinites to stand with me in vocalizing our concerns.

The permanent elimination of first-class mail sorting in Madison will result in the dramatic slowing of first-class mail delivery throughout the region and the elimination of 54 middle-class jobs.

Mail delivered to the house next door in Madison will now need to travel to Milwaukee to be sorted, then travel back to Madison to be delivered. This will significantly impact the cash flow of local businesses. Instead of being a same day/one day delivery town, delivery times for payment checks and invoices will slow to two or three days or longer, especially in the winter months when mail volume is up and road conditions are hazardous.

That will be devastating for small businesses that rely on quick payment for financial viability.

As Wisconsin’s second largest city, the seat of state government and the home of UW’s flagship campus, Madison needs and deserves its own first-class mail sorting facility. Madison’s outgoing priority mail and Saturday’s processing of first class letters have already been lost to Milwaukee.

If Madison loses the remaining first-class letter operation, I am concerned for what comes next. Many communities have experienced the USPS dismantling a processing center gradually until the doors are permanently closed. The same could easily occur in our community.

It’s clear that this consolidation proposal would place an unnecessary and potentially harmful burden on our communities in South Central Wisconsin at a time when the economy is still recovering. The Madison processing center is critical to our region’s economic growth and continued prosperity. It’s a vital artery for the region—linking families and businesses with its indispensable services—and we must defend it.

Last week, I attended a public meeting with the USPS and shared with them my concerns as the federal representative to the region. Your voices are just as important. The USPS will accept public comment until this Thursday, June 13, 2013. Comments may be mailed to:

Manager, Consumer & Industry Contact

Lakeland District

PO Box 5008

Milwaukee, WI 53201-5008

I encourage members of the community to make their voices heard and let the USPS know how its proposal will affect them. Important services and jobs are at stake.