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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 9:35am

Athens Could Lose Postal Center

Updated: 2 years ago.
A final decision is expected to be made sometime in 2012. (photo courtesy of Chris Streeter)

A meeting to discuss the possible move of the postal facility on Olympic Drive is scheduled for Wednesday at Hilsman Middle School. U.S. Postal Service officials say moving the Athens facility to Duluth would save money.

Ann Berrigan will be among the residents at the public hearing, and she's hoping to keep the facility in its current location.

"My fear is that the decision has already been made and we're just being told after the fact, and this is just window dressing."

The U.S.P.S. says mail volume is down, saying Americans haven't been writing as many letters over recent years, thanks to emails and text messaging. The lack of old-fashioned letter writing caused the Postal Service to lose $5.1 billion dollars this year. Berrigan understands the need to improve the bottom line, but says there are other ways to do that.

"To me, it would be much better to cut out mail on Saturday and go ahead and have the delivery as it should be, processed here in Athens, and make cuts in other ways. And I know from what I have gathered from individual postal workers, they are all scared to death that they are going to lose their jobs."

Wednesday night's public hearing is expected to be the last one on the matter.

"We are really concerned that Athens is being treated like a little tiny village, instead of a city, which it is now. I don't know what they're doing with the rest of the towns, around here....like how about Gainesville? Is there mail going to be sent to Duluth too?" asks Berrigan.

A final decision on the possible move is expected to be made sometime in 2012.