Utica, NY (WIBX) - The U.S. Postal Service is moving forward with a consolidation effort and will close the Utica processing center sometime in mid-2012, USPS Communications Manager Maureen Marion said Thursday.

Workers at the facility were told the news on Thursday morning. Utica's operation will be merged with an existing facility in Syracuse which will undergo some expansion, she said.

The closure will will not impact the window service operations at the Pitcher Street office, or at the Butterfield and Kernan operations, Marion said.

Also, letter carrier services in Utica will remain the same, she added.

Marion said the consolidation would be an 'invisible change' to customers, saying the processing operations involved back-end, behind the scenes operations.

Citing declining revenue, Marion said the delivery and volume of stamped mail has changed dramatically over the past several years.

"The volume of mail is eroding. Report cards, pay checks and credit card statements can all be done online," Marion said, adding nationwide, the total number of items mailed first class has dropped more than 20% in the past four years.

Employee Steve Leve said in his opinion the Utica office was efficient but said it all comes down to money.

Leve, who has been employed at the Pitcher Street office for 12 years, hopes to transfer to offices in Syracuse or Albany and commute from his Herkimer County home.