Latta requests local mail go through Ohio processing, not Michigan

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, has asked for a transfer mail processing responsibilities for Northwest Ohio from the USPS Michigan Metroplex facility in Pontiac, Michigan, to either the Cleveland Mail Processing Plant or the Columbus Mail Processing Plant.

He recently wrote a letter to the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service to request a formal inquiry.

“The local postal carriers and the people who work to deliver the mail do a great job, but unfortunately, for years, the United States Postal Service Michigan Metroplex Facility has failed to reliably deliver mail, including bills and vote-by-mail ballots, to residents of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District,” Latta said in a news release.

After the closure of the Toledo Mail Processing Plant in 2012, a new system was arranged where mail from Northwest Ohio was to be sent to the Michigan Metroplex for processing and sorting, before heading to its destination, the letter stated.

This process has created delays and added time to the delivery of each mail piece. In addition to delivery delays, there has also been increased instances of lost or discarded mail, Latta said.

“The most egregious example of this was in 2016 when hundreds of absentee ballots were lost,” he said.

“Since 2016, I have tried to work with the Postal Service to get answers as to why these delays continue to occur and if the Postal Service could improve the operations at the Michigan Metroplex,” Latta wrote. “I received assurances that the Postal Service took these matters seriously and were working to improve operations. Sadly, even with these assurances, I continue to receive a constant stream of complaints from my constituents about mail delivery issues, ranging from delayed mail to lost mail.”

Local courts have seen delayed delivery of jury summons; seniors have been forced to pay late fees because the delivery of their bill payments was slowed; and voters have had to worry about their ballots not being counted due to delivery delays, he stated.

“With the continued uncertainty created by the COVID-19 health crisis, I expect that we will see a large increase in the number of voters choosing to cast their ballot through the mail this fall,” Latta said. “That is why it is imperative that the system is working, and the mail is being delivered in a timely fashion. I cannot place confidence in the Michigan Metroplex to accomplish this goal. That is why I would ask that your office assesses the feasibility of transferring mail processing responsibilities for Northwest Ohio to a different facility.”