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May 15, 2011

17

Downtown post office closure would mean lost jobs — but a better arena view

by Deena Winter

With the recent news that Lincoln’s downtown post office is being considered for closure — and mail processing moved to Omaha — I have to wonder if arena planners aren’t privately jumping for joy.

Remember when the original arena plan called for the post office to move? That plan was scuttled due to concern that Lincoln would risk losing 200 postal jobs in the process. Given that the arena itself will only create about 60 full-time, permanent jobs, that seemed like a no-brainer.

But now, with the U.S. Postal Service suffering and looking to make cuts everywhere, the prospect of the downtown post office closing is very real (just ask the union members who were picketing at the post office a few weeks ago). The Postal Service is doing a six-week study to see if it would be feasible and cost-effective to move Lincoln mail processing operations to Omaha.

What are the odds that study will say YES! YES! YES!

Often, when city leaders catch wind that a major employer is thinking of moving, the mayor’s office moves, toot sweet, to try to convince them to stay. But in this situation, one has to wonder a) whether you can really convince the feds to do anything and b) whether the mayor’s office will want to make even a feeble attempt to change their minds.

Because face it, that big old post office is very much in the way of the arena development. Frankly, it’s going to look pretty stupid to have a spanking new arena sitting next to a dowdy, huge post office. But 200 well-paying jobs is nothing to sneeze at. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the mayor’s office when this comes up.

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. CS
    May 15 2011

    It is a federal fiscal study. I doubt they really care one way or the other what the local LIBA members or Beutler think.

    Reply
  2. porcupine
    May 15 2011

    Take your pictures now it will be gone. Great work Deena by the way what ever happened to all the contaminated dirt from the rail yard

    Reply
    • Roger C
      May 16 2011

      I’m growing this year’s veggie crop in it – wanna bite?

      Reply
      • Porcupine
        May 16 2011

        Oh I didn’t know that was how someone handled contaminated soil. Thanks for the info.

  3. Roberta
    May 16 2011

    Doesn’t sound to me like people planned this out to well. Wonder what we will have to pay for the space when they move out? Oh but this wasn’t planned. So this cost shouldn’t be in the cost of the Arena.

    But then again maybe someone will buy it and want handouts from the City to build on it.

    Reply
  4. Andrew
    May 16 2011

    Bon Jour Deena – Eet ees odd, being a French Grammar Nazi, based on their past of WW2, ees eet not? However your “toot sweet,” I believe should be “tout de suite” meaning een zee French -immediately; or all at once. Merci

    Reply
  5. Jon Duhon
    May 16 2011

    Deena, why are you only blaming Beutler for postal workers losing their jobs in Lincoln? Can’t you somehow twist, spin, and fannagle this into Beutler being responsible for every post office worker around the country losing their jobs? Why hold back Deena?

    Reply
    • May 16 2011

      Gosh, Jon, you seem to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today. Which part of the story blamed Beutler for anything again?

      Reply
  6. Dave Fall
    May 16 2011

    This is bad news switching maintenance workers for those Postal Service salaries.I hope the boys are big enough to play more than court house politics.? hmmmmmm

    Reply
  7. Publius
    May 16 2011

    I thought the arena would be bringing jobs to Lincoln not expelling them….

    Reply
  8. Gene
    May 16 2011

    It doesn’t sound like the arena is really expelling any jobs or that our local government has any say in the matter. Sheesh.

    Reply
  9. Roger Yant
    May 17 2011

    Just maybe due to the city originally wanting it gone the feds said hay, they don’t really want the one in Lincoln so lets look at moving it out of there. They won’t care.
    We have an incompetent city, except when it comes time for spending money and getting rid of jobs. State Fair grounds, loss of over 800 full and part times jobs and now if this goes, over 200 very well paid jobs. Where is the city crying and bemoaning the possibility of losing these jobs? Yes I too believe they are dancing in the halls at city hall.

    Reply
    • Gene
      May 17 2011

      Do you think the USPS is making all of the cuts to their budget because of the arena or just this one?

      Reply
  10. Fletch
    May 17 2011

    I think the only thing the potential loss of the Post Office has in common with the arena project is proximity. There’s no grand conspiracy here.

    You people give government employees way too much credit for being smart enough to pull that off. It takes a handful of people to fill one pothole. The amount of people that would be involved in something this large is unfathomable.

    The USPS has been in major financial doo-doo for years and years. The arena has as much to do with this as the smoking ban does.

    Reply
  11. Roberta
    May 17 2011

    Let’s see does this still make sense. Omaha will have four arenas around it and if one drives 45 minutes west you come to Lincoln. Who has more to offer? Oh, it doesn’t matter big red needed a new basketball court and they are actually calling the shots from the four point line.

    Reply
    • porcupine
      May 17 2011

      Good one.

      Reply
  12. May 23 2011

    Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

    Reply

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