ZEBULON — Town and postal officials are downplaying the impact of changes set to impact the Zebulon post office later this year.
Starting this summer, 13 carriers that now operate out of the Zebulon location will be moved to the Wendell Post Office.
The move will make the postal service more efficient according to U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Monica Robbs.
“Instead of having two management officials at two facilities, one management official at the one location will manage the carriers,” she said. “It also cuts down on transportation costs. We reduce the number of stops required by the vehicles and can maximize the capacity (of mail) per vehicle.” Transportation costs are reduced because trucks bringing the mail to eastern Wake County will only have to deliver to one location.
The move won’t likely save any money on employee salaries either. According to Robbs, the local manager’s position that is cut will be moved to another position in the area.
Robbs verified the Zebulon office will remain open with no changes to on-site customer transactions and no Zebulon addresses will be affected by the change either.
News of changes at the post office caught some people, including Mayor Bob Matheny by surprise.
Matheny decided he needed to contact postal officials after he stopped by the post office on April 26 and heard some unexpected news.
“I went down to the post office to mail a package and the woman at the counter said, ‘Have you heard the news?’“ Matheny said. “She said they were closing the office and moving to Wendell.”
The relocated carriers will begin operating out of the Wendell Post Office June 8 as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s Delivery Unit Optimization plan, according to Robbs.
“The postal service has not had to lay off to achieve any of the initiatives we have taken – (Delivery Unit Optimization) moves, consolidations, etc.,” she said. “We have a proud history of taking care of postal employees.”
Robbs also indicated the move is not intended to create a glut of carriers at the Wendell office to the point that the postal service can scale back on those employees in the future.
“Our goal is not to look where we can lay off carriers. The workload for carriers is based on the addresses we serve,” Robbs said. “The carriers will carry the same mail to the same locations, and follow the same routes in the same order. It’s simply a matter of where they’re starting from.”
Matheny said he was told postal service for Zebulon residents will remain seamless when the carrier change takes effect.
“That implies to me it’s not going to be a big deal,” he said. “Does it really make any difference if the letter carrier comes out of Raleigh, Timbuktu, Middlesex or Wendell if the letter still gets to you? I can’t get really excited that it’s going to be a major problem.”