COLUMBIA — The U.S. Postal Service could face some upheaval in its efforts to consolidate the Quincy, Ill., distribution center with the center in Columbia.
About 130 people work at the Columbia postal plant, while Quincy plant employs around 70, according to a report from the Quincy Herald-Whig.
To gauge feedback from the community, the city of Quincy held a public meeting Nov. 22 with the Postal Service.
The city's mayor, John Spring, said the city will continue to push against the possible move, adding that the city went to great lengths to bring the Postal Service's facility there 11 years ago.
"Out of the 300 people at the (Nov. 22) meeting, not one person wanted this," he said.
The Quincy plant is a 70,000 square-foot, "fairly modern and state of the art" facility that handles more than 470,000 pieces of mail per day, Spring said.
Spring said he heard at the meeting with the Postal Service that only 17 jobs will be saved and taken to Columbia. He said he was confused by the proposed move to Columbia, explaining that a 2009 Postal Service study concluded that consolidating the Quincy plant with one in Springfield, Ill., would make no sense.
J. Michael Brooks, president of Columbia's Regional Economic Development Inc., said he hasn't heard much of the move but will support it if it will add jobs and stimulate the local economy.
"If the Postal Service requests our help, we will give it to them," Brooks said.
Valerie Welsch, a St. Louis-based spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said the next step is to send a summary brief to Chicago, which will contain information such as a list of costs, expected annual savings, which employees will be affected and all comments that have been sent to the Postal Service. From there, the brief would go to Postal Service headquarters.
"The decision is part of a nationwide optimization plan, so there is still not an exact timetable for what will happen," Welsch said.
The period for comment ends Wednesday.