Postal consolidation would end Olympia postmark

Say goodbye to mail postmarked Olympia or Tacoma along with 168 Washington postal jobs if a plan unveiled Thursday comes to fruition.

That U.S. Postal Service consolidation scheme is part of a larger nationwide plan to eliminate 223 mail processing facilities to save some $2.1 billion annually.

Mail now processed and sorted in Olympia and Tacoma will be handled in an underused postal facility in Seattle, along with mail now sorted in Everett, if Congress doesn’t alter the plan by May 15.

Along with its Pine Street mail processing plant, Tacoma could lose its postmark. The same is true for mail now sorted in Olympia unless a postal patron requests special hand-canceling.

“In the past, we made a special concession to Olympia when some of that work was moved to Tacoma,” said Ernie Swanson, a postal service spokesman. “We postmarked that mail Olympia-Tacoma. That kind of thing could happen again. We could have a Seattle- Tacoma postmark, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

First-class letters mailed in much of Washington would bear the postmarks of the state’s two remaining postal processing centers – in Seattle and Spokane – under the merger plan.

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