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Posted April 22, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Wolf adds name to mail fight

By James Heffernan -- jheffernan@nvdaily.com

Rep. Frank R. Wolf has once again joined the fight to keep local mail-sorting operations from being moved to Dulles.

Two members of Wolf's staff attended a public hearing in Winchester on Monday night on the U.S. Postal Service's plan to consolidate up to 20 of its mail processing sites, including the North Pleasant Valley Road location, as a cost-cutting measure.

"Based on the information provided, and the continued strong opposition voiced by citizens, businesses and local elected officials, I remain steadfast in my opposition to moving any of the operations in Winchester to Dulles," Wolf, R-10th, writes in a Tuesday letter addressed to William Galligan, senior vice president of mail delivery for USPS in Washington.

It is not the first time the congressman has weighed in on the issue.

"When this plan first surfaced five years ago, I called the meeting to outline the concerns of the community," Wolf writes. "The postal service failed to make its case then, and has failed to do so again."

The Winchester post office at 340 N. Pleasant Valley Road processes and sorts mail for the city and points in Frederick, Warren, Clarke and Shenandoah counties. If the consolidation plan is approved, most of the sorting employees would be reassigned, according to USPS officials.

The Postal Service may choose to simply scale back local operations. The post office itself would remain open.

Among Wolf's reasons for opposing the move to Dulles are the presence of the new FEMA processing center in Stephenson and the FBI's proposed Central Records Complex near the West Virginia line, both of which will need efficient and timely mail service, he says.

The Winchester facility also processes mail from the VA hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., "and the need for overnight delivery of medicine is critical in this region," Wolf says.

In addition, he notes that if a disaster were to occur in the Washington metro area, the Winchester mail processing facility could ensure that postal operations continue.

The Postal Service may take up to two months before reaching a decision.

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