The U.S. Senate has started debate over a bill designed to stabilize the downtrodden U.S. Postal Service and delay most decisions on closing post offices, according to a report by The Associated Press.
The bill, which is being debated this week on the Senate floor, could provide some relief for those who want to save the historic 1930s post offices in Santa Monica and Venice.
SB178 would require the Postal Service to allow users of a postal facility designated for closure or consolidation to present their views and it also would require an investigation that includes consideration of the impact on the community of a facility's closure. The bill also calls for the USPS to submit a written decision on closure or consolidation of a facility and make public a notice of its findings publicly available.
The Venice Neighborhood Council in March voted unanimously to endorse sending letters to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Rep. Henry Waxman urging them to support SB1853 and a companion House bill, HR3591, that also place restrictions on the closure of post office facilities.
Both the Santa Monica post office at Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue and the Venice post office on Windward Circle were built in the 1930s by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration. A rally was held Tuesday afternoon on Tax Day at the Venice Post Office on Windward Circle to save the post office.
Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe late last year agreed to delay closings until May 15, but the Santa Monica and Venice post offices have been classified as relocations and are not included in the moratorium.
The USPS is $12 billion in debt and could go bankrupt as soon as this fall, according to The Associated Press report. The postal service plans to save roughly $6.5 billion a year by closing hundreds of mail processing centers and 3,700 post offices.
For more details, read the full article by The Associated Press.