Mail sorting center to shut in October
Special to The Union
MARYSVILLE – The Olivehurst mail sorting facility – where western Nevada County’s letters are processed – will close by October, and its operations will be moved to a larger facility in West Sacramento in June.
The Olivehurst facility sorts mail from all ZIP codes starting with 959, covering Nevada, Butte, and Colusa counties as well as Yuba County.
Postmasters in western Nevada County previously have said they are not concerned about delays caused by the change.
But Supervisor Mary Jane Griego, who represents the Olivehurst area, pointed to a similar move the United States Postal Service made in 2005: A five-day delay in mail sent between Marysville and Yuba City.
Nevada County customers also complained during the same time period.
“I think they’ll find out they made a mistake this time like they made a mistake last time,” said Linda-area Supervisor Andy Vasquez, who also was involved in efforts to keep the Olivehurst facility open. “And we’re the ones who end up holding the bag.”
USPS spokesman Augustine Ruiz said mail service won’t be affected, because the Postal Service has already figured out how to maintain the same level of service once
the transfer is complete.
Yuba County officials and others involved in the effort to keep the Olivehurst site open expressed anger, disappointment and confusion.
The announcement this week came at the end of a long study by the Postal Service on how to improve efficiencies and cut costs.
Olivehurst’s site has typically received high marks from the Postal Service for efficiency and performance, while West Sacramento’s has not.
In December, a postal district manager said the move would save USPS about $4.5 million.
But Rick Page, president of the Area Local 211 of the American Postal Workers Union, questioned the Postal Service’s claims of cost savings, because postal officials haven’t released financial documents to back that up, he said.
“We can’t pick through to see what’s real,” Page said.
About 170 employees work at the Olivehurst facility. Ruiz said union contracts mean they’ll be reassigned to other facilities, though some may be out of the area.
The move is necessary because the district has lost about 20 percent of its mail volume since its peak in 2006, much of it business mail, Ruiz said.
Yuba County Clerk-Recorder Terry Hansen said she’s also concerned, because mail delays could mean problems for vote-by-mail ballots in the November election.
Contact Marysville Appeal-Democrat reporter Ben van der Meer at (530) 749-4709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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