The Postal Service is planning on closing nine mail processing centers in Illinois. On the hit list are processing centers in Aurora (Fox Valley), Bloomington, Carbondale, Centralia, Chicago (Irving Park Road), Effingham, Quincy, Rockford and Springfield.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says it’s something that’ll have to happen. “We sat down with the postmaster general and talked about some of the planed closures. I’m not happy. I think Illinois gets hit a little too hard here, but I think we [would be] naïve to believe that there will not be significant changes in the Postal Service. They have to create a new business model for the 21st Century,” he said.

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The Illinois closures are on a list of 252 processing centers to be closed, out of 487. The Postal Service previously announced plans to close 3,700 of the nation’s 32,000 local post offices. Overall, the postal work force would be reduced by 100,000 from its current 653,000.

The postal service has seen 30 percent of its volume evaporate over the last five years.

Closings will begin as early as March. Under the plan, less mail would make it to its destination in one day.

Projected annual savings from closing the processing centers is $2.1 billion. The Postal Service is trying to cut its $75 billion budget by $20 billion by 2015.

(Illinois Radio Network)