The media are all abuzz today about a U.S. Postal Service announcement to further seek approval to slash costs and relax service standards.
Yes, the USPS wants two to three days to be its goal for delivering first-class mail, instead of one to two days.
And yes, to reach a goal of cutting $20 billion in operating costs by 2015, the self-supporting government enterprise will likely have to shut many post offices and other facilities.
But no final decisions have been reached about 250 postal facilities under consideration for consolidation or elimination. They include 10 in Pennsylvania, six in New Jersey, and one in Delaware.
Those sites, named Sept. 15, are still under study, and any closures are likely to be months away, according to spokesman Raymond Daiutolo Sr.
"It's kind of premature to say it's a done deal," he said.
Take the Bellmawr facility in Camden County, one of two in South Jersey's on the list. A study is analyzing potential cost savings by merging its operations with the Philadelphia center near the airport, Daiutolo said.
But the study hasn't been concluded, and no public meeting has been scheduled yet.
Delaware's only center on the list, in New Castle, might also see its workload shifted to Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, the closest ones to the city are in Southeastern Pennsylvania, near Devon, Chester County; Lancaster; and Reading, Berks County.
The others in Pennsylvania are in Scranton, Williamsport, Altoona, Greensburg, New Castle, Pittsburgh, and Erie.
Also under the microscope in New Jersey are facilities in Pleasantville in Atlantic County, Edison, Eatontown, Kearny and Teterboro.
The delivery time and facilities issues, however, are clearly related.
"The U.S. Postal Service must reduce its operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to return to profitability," David Williams, network operations vice president, said in today's news release. "The proposed changes to service standards will allow for significant consolidation of the postal network in terms of facilities, processing equipment, vehicles and employee workforce and will generate projected net annual savings of approximately $2.1 billion."
Some mail, though, would likely still be delivered the following day, the release said.