Changes to Iron Mountain mail center paused

Postmaster general agrees to Sen. Gary Peters’ proposal

The U.S. Postal Service’s distribution center in Dickinson County is pictured. (Photo courtesy of the Iron Mountain Daily News)

MARQUETTE — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has committed to pause changes planned at the Kingsford U.S. Postal Service processing location that would move a portion of its operations to a facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

This news came after a series of calls and a bipartisan letter from U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Hills, and his colleagues opposing the changes.

“We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator. While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far,” wrote the senators. “USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.”

These potential facility changes are part of USPS’ Delivering for America plan that would include moving all processing further away from local communities to what it calls regional processing and distribution centers. USPS officials claim this plan “will upgrade and improve the postal processing, transportation and delivery networks.”

However, Peters and his colleagues pointed out in their letter that the plan includes “local transportation optimization,” an initiative that “cuts the number of truck trips and mail collections at USPS facilities, causing mail to sit overnight in local offices.”

Legislators such as Peters are concerned about the disproportionate impacts these changes may have on rural areas. The senators, Peters in particular, further requested the Postal Service investigate how these changes would affect communities around the country.

In a letter to Peters, DeJoy wrote: “In response to the concerns you and your colleagues have expressed, I will commit to pause any implementation of these moves at least until after January 1, 2025. Even then, we will not advance these efforts without advising you of our plans to do so, and then only at a moderated pace of implementation.”

Peters’ enthusiasm about DeJoy’s decision was not wholly positive.

“I’m glad I was able to secure this pause on changes to the Iron Mountain Processing and Distribution Center, which will help ensure that residents and businesses across the Upper Peninsula that depend on the Postal Service for reliable mail delivery will continue to be able to count on that service,” he said. “I appreciate Postmaster General DeJoy’s efforts to work with me on this issue. However, I still have concerns about additional changes, including to local transportation trips, that impact Michiganders.

“I urge the Postal Service to pause and reverse local transportation changes in addition to facility changes, until we have more information about their effects.”

State Rep. Jenn Hill, D-Marquette was pleased at the development.

“I’m glad the U.S. Postal Service appears to be reexamining an ill-advised plan that could significantly harm mail delivery in the U.P.,” said Hill. “I appreciate the willingness from Sen. Peters to listen to our concerns and advocate on behalf of our communities. I also want to thank the workers from the Kingsford/Iron Mountain facility and other local residents who spoke out on this issue. We depend on our mail service, and I’ll continue fighting for it.”

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, responded to the announcement with a statement via email, saying, “The decision today by Postmaster DeJoy to ‘delay’ changes to the Iron Mountain Processing Center is welcomed news in the short term, but a major cause for concern going forward.

“DeJoy showed today what we have been saying all along — the proposed changes to the Iron Mountain Processing Facility in Kingsford are not founded in reality. The move to ‘postpone’ ending next-day mail in the U.P. and other rural areas until after the 2024 election seems likely to be nothing short of a political stunt at the expense of rural America.”


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