The U.S. Postal Service weighed whether to close the Dallas Main Post Office against closing the postal processing center in Fort Worth. In the end, it came down to real estate.

Acting district manager Timothy Vierling said Wednesday night the Main Post Office on Interstate 30 near Sylvan has more potential value in the real estate market and would garner more cash in a sale. Both post offices are in industrial areas, but the Main Post Office in West Dallas has better potential because of the Trinity River Project, he said.

The postal service has proposed closing the Main Post Office and moving operations to postal processing centers in Coppell and Fort Worth. The measure is expected to save $38.7 million, minus the $6.8 million it will cost to move operations. The Main Post Office’s approximate 980 employees would relocate to other postal centers  in North Texas.

Our mail, to and from zip codes starting with 752, would be processed in Coppell.

State Sen. Royce West asked several questions during a town-hall meeting at Mountain View College Wednesday, which brought to light the following:

> Only postal service management was involved in the study that recommended closing the Main Post Office. No lower-level employees were consulted.

> Wednesday’s town-hall meeting, which drew some 200 postal employees and customers, is unlikely to have any effect on the decision, “unless there’s something that’s way out there that should be considered,” Vierling said. But the proposal is feasible, he said, and unlikely to change.

> Similar town-hall meetings held in 2009 had no effect on plans to move some mail-processing operations from Dallas to Coppell. That original proposal was accepted with no changes.

“It’s a sad day,” West said, when the main post office in the nation’s ninth-largest city closes and operations move to the suburbs that “wouldn’t even be in existence if not for the city.”

The move is a hardship for employees, who will have to commute to Fort Worth or Coppell, although no layoffs are planned.

While customers are unlikely to notice any change in first-class mail service, the change would cause difficulties for some customers.

Jeff Ross, who owns a Deep Ellum-based direct mail company, The Order Desk, noted he would have to drive to Fort Worth or Coppell to qualify for a discount the USPS offers to advertising mailers who bring their mail to a regional processing center.

Ross also noted that procrastinators would have to make the trek to the suburbs to mail their income tax forms by midnight on April 15. And besides, he said, the property on Sylvan is not that well positioned.

“The Trinity River Project is all but dead,” he said.

The U.S. Postal Service must cut $20 billion by 2015 to become profitable and is attempting to cut $3 billion in the next year to avoid bankruptcy. The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1 billion in the financial year ending in October.

To comment on the Dallas Main Post Office proposal, write a letter postmarked Dec. 22 or before, to:

Manager, Consumer & Industry Contact — Dallas District
951 W. Bethel Road
Coppell, TX 75099-9631.

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