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AKRON, Ohio (WJW)– The city of Akron is calling on the U.S. Postal Service to revive sorting operations in the city amid continued delivery delays.

Mayor Dan Horrigan said he’s formally asking U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to begin planning to reopen a fully operational processing center at the USPS postal facility in Akron in 2021.

The Postal Service ended sorting operations in Akron and slashed hundreds of jobs amid cutbacks in 2015. The Akron postal facility remains a transfer station where mail sorted in Cleveland is sent to local branches.

It comes as mail delivery of everything from medications to bills is running weeks behind schedule in Northeast Ohio. A Postal Service spokesperson has said the delays are because unprecedented demand and staffing shortages amid COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, many Americans will remember this holiday season as the year their gifts, cards, purchases, bills or essential paperwork failed to arrive on time,” Horrigan said in a statement. “However, there is a renewed chance to fulfill our obligation to provide a well-functioning and efficient postal service.”

Horrigan pointed to resources to reopen the facility through the $10 billion in new funding for the Postal Service included in the latest COVID-19 relief package that passed Congress.

Deputy Mayor James Hardy said, right now, all pieces of mail must flow through Cleveland for sorting. He said reopening a sorting facility in Akron would add hundreds of jobs and improve mail service.

“Breaking up these bottlenecks in Ohio, bringing back jobs, bringing back the confidence we all used to have in the postal service is the least we can do in exchange for this investment taxpayers are making,” Hardy said. “Akron taxpayers deserve better service than they’re getting from the US Postal Service.”

A spokesperson for the Postal Service declined to comment.

Horrigan said he has also asked members of Ohio’s congressional delegation to support the reopening of the processing center in Akron and other Ohio cities and to press the USPS for action.

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