BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Postal workers and others are asking to save several smaller post offices and one distribution center in Maine from closing.
Many people including United States Representative Michael Michaud rallied near the Bangor Post office. They want the United States Postal Service to cancel plans to close smaller post offices and to keep the Hampden distribution center open.
The organizer for the rally John Curtis said the Postal Service is operating at a deficit. He said the biggest reason for its financial trouble comes from pre-funding. He said pre-funding is a Congressional mandate that calls for the postal service to set $5.5 billion aside during a 10 year period that started in 2007 for retirement benefits. Curtis said that may force the postal service to close post offices in Maine.
"There are 30 post offices also slatted to be closed in Maine, and many of them in small towns. That's a lifeline for many people in a small town," Curtis said.
Via phone interview, United States Postal Service Spokesman Tom Rizzo said the Postal Service is trying to get relief from pre-funding. He said the Postal Service is projecting a $14-$18 billion deficit this fiscal year which ends Sept. 30. Rizzo said stopping pre-funding would help but it is not the total solution to the financial problems.
He said other legislative changes need to be made in Congress to help get the Postal Service get on the path to financial sustainability.