New rules to be drawn up for post offices

New rules to be drawn up for post offices
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The U.S. Postal Service is considering revising its procedures for expanding, relocating or constructing a new post office. 

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The rule would require the Postal Service to notify communities and their elected officials in writing and provide more information about a project earlier in the planning phase. The Postal Service would also be required to solicit and consider input regarding the project proposal to relocate retail services or add a new retail service facility.

The Postal Service, which has long been struggling, said it’s revising its regulations to enhance transparency and public input as the agency works to adapt to declining profits and mail volume.

“To continue operating on a self-funding basis without tax dollars and to fulfill its statutory obligations, the Postal Service must make efficient and economical use of its postal facilities,” the service said in its proposed rule-making.

“As a result, the Postal Service will have an ongoing need to relocate retail services and to add retail service facilities to account for factors such as population shifts and growth, and a dynamic marketplace with changing customer needs and evolving technologies and retail servicing options.”

In November, Postal Service officials begged Congress to pass legislation to overhaul the agency. Officials said then that they had maximized what they could do to downsize without the assistance from Congress.

The public has 30 days to comment.