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Budget Cuts Could Jeopardize 6 Postal Projects in L.A. County

December 15, 1987|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — Postal Service officials warned Monday that a Senate budget-cutting proposal could force delays or cancellation of more than a dozen major postal construction projects in California, including six in Los Angeles County.

Among the communities in which post office construction projects of more than $5 million could be suspended are Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Alhambra and Beverly Hills, officials declared at a news conference. Planned construction projects at the Rancho Park postal station and the Long Beach north station could also be canceled, the officials added.

Deputy Postmaster General Michael Coughlin said disruptions could begin "almost immediately," noting that House and Senate negotiators are working this week on sorting out their differences over a budget bill that includes the postal measures. The legislation, he added, includes fiscal 1988, which is already nearly a quarter over.

"The plain truth is if this legislation is enacted, we would be unable to provide the level of service we have been working so hard to achieve," said Postmaster General Preston R. Tisch.

Postal officials have also warned that the budget-cutting plan could force an end to Saturday mail delivery and cause major reductions in post office hours.

At issue is a Senate-passed deficit-reduction measure that would require the Postal Service to absorb nearly $2 billion in added costs for retirement benefits. The provision specifies that the agency cannot raise rates, borrow or increase its budget to cover the cost. Instead it would have to make specific cuts in both service and capital construction budgets.

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