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      McAllen chamber hopes valley will unite against possible McAllen mail processing center closure

      The U.S. Postal Service is in the red and expects more losses in the coming year.

      To cope, they proposed shutting down offices around the country, including the mail processing center in McAllen.

      That mounting debt could eliminate 140 jobs right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

      The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has a petition up on their website, and they hope Valley residents will voice their concerns to decision makers.

      The doors of McAllen's post office are open every day allowing valley residents to check their mail, but if McAllen's processing center is shutdown, there will be many disappointed customers.

      "It's a little bit discouraging," said Elda Rodriguez who uses the post office just about every day. "People really depend on their daily mail.

      If the United Postal Service shuts down the processing center, the jobs from the center would go to the one at Corpus Christi.

      "We are three times bigger than Corpus Christi, and yet, they are talking about merging our facility into the Corpus facility. Why aren't they talking about merging the Corpus Christi facility into this facility?" said McAllen Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Ahlenius.

      Closing the processing center would mean 140 jobs gone, and residents would have to wait a longer time to receive their mail since it would be processed in Corpus.

      "I would hate it for those that are on disability|you know their monthly check," said Rodriguez.

      Ahlenius said the results would be devastating to the region.

      "You're looking at an area that relies on the U.S. mail system to get checks, to pay bills, to do a lot of things that a lot of other areas in Texas wouldn TMt where they have internet access in their homes, said Ahlenius.We just don't have that here."

      The postal service is holding a public meeting December 1st to hear residents concerns.

      "We're afraid that the decision's already been made, and that they're just going through the process or motions to make this decision," said Ahlenius.

      But Ahlenius said, nonetheless, he hopes the Valley's voice will be heard.

      The McAllen Chamber is hoping if at least 500 people show up to the meeting, it could send a strong message to decision makers.

      That meeting is December 1 at 7 p.m. at McAllen City Hall in the city commission room on the 3rd floor at 1300 W. Houston Avenue.

      To see the petition click here.This is the postal service statement:

      Postal Service to hold public meeting on McAllen mail processing study

      MCALLEN, TX " The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting to discuss its proposal to move mail processing operations from the McAllen, TX Processing and Distribution Facility (P&DF) into the Corpus Christi, TX Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC).

      The meeting will take place at 7 p.m., on Dec. 1, at the McAllen City Hall, City Commission Room on the 3rd floor, 1300 W. Houston Ave., McAllen, TX 78501.

      With the deep decline in mail volume due to current economic conditions and continuing electronic diversion, the Postal Service has an excess of employees and equipment in some mail processing operations. A study was begun on Sept. 15 at the McAllen, TX P&DF to determine the feasibility of consolidating redundant operations to see if any efficiencies and cost savings would be achieved.

      Initial study results support consolidating mail processing operations that are currently being performed at the McAllen P&DF by taking advantage of available processing capacity at the Corpus Christi P&DC in order to increase efficiency and improve productivity.

      While no final decision has been reached, Postal Service managers will give an overview of the reasons for the proposal and its possible outcomes, and will listen to community input and concerns. A summary of the proposal and presentation materials will be made available online one week prior to the meeting at

      Anyone who wishes to submit comments in writing can send them to:

      Manager of Consumer and Industry ContactUSPS Rio Grande District1 Post Office DrSan Antonio, TX 78284-9631

      Public comments will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2011.