Tupelo postal consolidation on hold

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The U.S. Postal Service’s plan to outsource some of Tupelo’s mail operations to Memphis is on hold indefinitely while federal officials review the decision.
The USPS headquarters demanded a review of all Area Mail Processing studies done in Mississippi, including the one that recommended consolidation for Tupelo, said regional spokeswoman Beth Barnett.
Barnett didn’t have any additional details, such as why the review was ordered or how long it would take.
Tupelo postmaster Mike Davis did not return a call for comment.
The consolidation of Tupelo’s outgoing mail-processing operations originally was supposed to have been completed by Sept. 1 but was postponed until Jan. 1.
Outgoing mail from this area is processed in Tupelo at the Thomas Street branch. Workers there sort, categorize, stamp and ship letters and packages originating from communities whose ZIP codes begin with 388.
As part of the consolidation, those functions would occur in Memphis.
The move was announced by the USPS last year after a months-long AMP study. The decision was heavily criticized by postal workers, as well as local and regional politicians. But the government agency said consolidations like the ones planned for Tupelo and elsewhere in the nation are necessary to save money.
It’d save an estimated $181,000 annually for the cash-strapped USPS, but would will strip six jobs from the local economy and eliminate the Tupelo postmark for most mailings.
It’s unclear whether the agency’s review was prompted by the community’s strong vocal opposition – especially that expressed by U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., as well as by then-U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.