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U.S. Postal Service to move operations from Grand Junction to Denver

 US Postal Service public hearing meeting in Grand Junction
WCAL #600
US Postal Service public hearing meeting in Grand Junction

The U.S. Postal Service says it will proceed with a controversial plan affecting thousands of customers and postal workers on Colorado’s Western Slope — moving operations from Grand Junction to Denver.

Prior to the changes, the Postal Service hosted a public hearing in Grand Junction. Shane McDonnell, WCAL#600, says initial information about the meeting location was incorrect, and postal officials scheduled the meeting in the middle of the day creating confusion. Still roughly 200 people attended.

Democratic U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper along with Ridgway Mayor John Clark, Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, and the Mesa and Montrose county clerks raised concerns about possible negative impacts from the change, according to reporting from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

McDonnell, a postal worker for 20 years, says he's seen a change in philosophy since Louis DeJoy was appointed United States Postmaster General in 2020. He says DeJoy is changing the post office from "a service model to more of a business model."

Last week, DeJoy was grilled by Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen during a Congressional hearing over a similar plan to downsize the Reno post office, rerouting mail through Sacramento, California. Rosen pressed the Postmaster General on the possible impacts on Nevada veterans and seniors who depend on U.S. mail for medications and other time-sensitive materials.

In a similar fashion, McDonnell spoke about one Western Slope rancher who depends on the Postal Service for life-saving cattle medication.

Despite the U.S. Postal Service's seemingly firm plans to reroute Western Slope mail to Denver, McDonnell says the postal service has reversed plans in New York and in Illinois. He says concerned postal customers on the Western Slope should contact their state legislators, the media, and the USPS Board of Governors.

In a statement, the Postal Service says the change “is a part of the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America (DFA) plan to improve organizational and operational processes and actively make the Postal Service an efficient, high-performing, world-class logistics and delivery provider.”

It has been estimated the changes at the Grand Junction center will save from $2.2 million to $3 million a year.

Copyright 2024 KVNF - Mountain Grown Community Radio. To see more, visit KVNF - Mountain Grown Community Radio.

That story was shared with us via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.

Lisa Young is a multimedia journalist living on the Western Slope of Colorado. She currently works as a freelance reporter for KVNF "Mountain Grown Community Radio" in Paonia, Colorado.