Printed: November 30, 2021

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

Return mail processing to Toledo, Latta asks

Local businesses impacted by delays

BY ELLIE BUERK BLADE STAFF WRITER

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) wrote a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Postal Service requesting that mail processing for northwest Ohio be permanently returned to Toledo from a regional facility near Detroit.

In the letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Mr. Latta called for an expansion of operations at the Toledo Processing and Distribution Center to meet the needs of northwest Ohio’s residents rather than continue to send the area’s mail to the Michigan Metroplex Facility 80 miles away in Pontiac.

The local sorting facility on South St. Clair Street was closed in 2012 as a cost-cutting measure.

“Since this decision was implemented, residents, businesses, churches, courts, and boards of elections in northwest Ohio have experienced countless delays in mail delivery, lost or discarded mail pieces, and other failures,” Mr. Latta wrote. “... Many of these problems, if not all, can be traced back to failures occurring at the Michigan Metroplex.”

Sylvania City Council, Sylvania Township, and Toledo City Council last month passed resolutions calling for mail processing’s return to Toledo.

The resolution said a Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce survey in March found 100 percent of respondents reporting their businesses had been harmed by delayed mail deliveries.

“Since 2016, Rep. Bob Latta has undertaken efforts to pressure the United States Postal Service to improve the operations at the Michigan Metroplex Mail Processing Center,” Rebecca Card Angelson, a spokesman for Mr. Latta, said in a written statement. “... The Postal Service has failed to improve these services and the Congressman’s constituents continue to suffer mail problems and delays.”

Mr. Latta’s letter stated that the only recent mail improvement reported by constituents occurred during the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, when northwest Ohio mail was temporarily rerouted through the Cleveland processing center.

“Given this feedback, along with the closer proximity of the Toledo P&DC to my constituents and the undeniable local benefits it would have for my constituents and businesses, I call on the USPS to develop and implement a new plan, within 60 days, to permanently transfer the mail processing activities for northwest Ohio’s mail from the Michigan Metroplex back to the Toledo P&DC,” Mr. Latta wrote.

The Postal Service did not respond to a Blade request for comment Wednesday.

Contact Ellie Buerk at

ebuerk@theblade.com.