Updated: January 7, 2012 8:15AM
CHICAGO — The struggling U.S. Postal Service says it’s moving forward with plans to slash its budget by $3 billion by closing more than 250 mail processing centers around the nation, including one in Aurora.
The cuts announced Monday would slow first-class mail service, ending next-day deliveries of stamped letters.
The list of processing centers to be closed released earlier this year includes the Fox Valley processing center on Aurora’s far East Side, as well as eight other facilities in Illinois — Bloomington, Carbondale, Centralia, Chicago, Effingham, Quincy, Rockford and Springfield.
The cuts would close 252 of the nation’s 461 mail processing centers beginning next spring. They would result in the elimination of roughly 28,000 jobs.
Because the consolidations typically would lengthen the distance mail travels from post office to processing center, the agency also would lower delivery standards. Currently, first-class mail is supposed to be delivered to homes and businesses within the continental U.S. in one to three days. That would lengthen to two to three days. About 42 percent of first-class mail is now delivered the following day.
But the fight to save the centers is far from over. A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, who represents the 16th Congressional District in northwestern Illinois, said the plan makes no sense, and Manzullo is demanding the postal service produce data that justifies the move.