SIOUX CITY - It's a good thing officials from the U.S. Post Office said they came to listen, because residents sure gave them an earful Tuesday night.

They got a little rowdy about their opinions, too.

The crowd rallied behind Julie Kessler, of Sioux City, who told postal officials the city wasn't giving up its mail processing plant.

"This city will fight for that processing plant," she told them, amid cheers.

Some 400 to 500 people attended a public meeting to discuss the U.S. Postal Service's study examining moving mail processing operations from the Sioux City facility to the center in Sioux Falls. The Postal Service is considering closing processing centers across the country, spurred by massive financial losses.

If consolidation is approved locally, and postal officials stressed that it won't be finalized until this summer, the move would close the Sioux City plant.

That possibility has been widely criticized by city officials and many residents; much as it was when postal officials considered closing the Sioux City processing center about five years ago. In that instance, the agency ultimately decided to leave the facility in Sioux City.

A hope for a second reprieve was alive and well Tuesday night in the Sioux City Convention Center.

Chris McGowan, president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, drew a standing ovation Tuesday when he told Post Office officials that residents in Sioux City deserved better than they were getting from the agency.

"You may attempt to convince us otherwise, but your study is incomplete at best," McGowan said.

See Wednesday's Journal for more on this story.



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