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Bend, Eugene Postal Plants Will Remain Open For Now

Mail drop at the United States Post Office on Sandy Boulevard in Portland.
Katelyn Black
Mail drop at the United States Post Office on Sandy Boulevard in Portland.

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will defer closing postal facilities in Eugene and Bend.

Bend and Springfield were among more than 50 mail processing facilities originally slated to close this summer. For now, letters sent from Bend will still be processed in Bend, instead of being sent to Portland.

"The decision to defer the next phase of the initiative was based upon operational considerations, and was made to ensure that the Postal Service will continue to provide prompt, reliable and predictable service," said Peter Hass, spokesman for the Postal Service.

On May 14, Postal service supporters rallied at the Eugene-Springfield plant to support keeping the plant open.

Jamie Partridge is a retired letter carrier. He says the announcement comes after pressure from advocates.

"We're very excited and we consider it a small temporary victory in the struggle to save the people's Postal Service from dismantling," Partridge said.

The announcement also comes after several members of Oregon's congressional delegation appealed to the postmaster general to reconsider the closures, citing possible mail delivery delays and negative effects on rural areas.

“Oregonians not only rely on the Postal Service for jobs, connectivity, and prescription drugs, but for the mail-in ballot and voting,” wrote Rep. Earl Blumenauer in a letter to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

The letter was signed by the entire Oregon delegation: U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader.

The Postal Service says the planned closings will resume in 2016.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Amanda Peacher