PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than 100 post offices in western Pennsylvania could be closed over the next year.

That’s the word from the U.S. Postal Service.

Facing huge deficits and lost customers, the post office is looking for ways to scale back.

People are not mailing letters anymore. Because of it, another round of post office closings is in the offing.

“Twenty percent of our mail volumes we have seen go away over the last four years, $8.5 billion we lost in revenue last year,” U.S. Post Office spokesperson Tad Kelly told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano. “We’ve got to right size the operation.”

Kelly says 126 post offices in western Pennsylvania –14 percent – may be shut down soon.

“This is a changing marketplace and we need to change with it,” says Kelly.

Among the post offices on the list to possibly close are the Downtown post office at the U.S. Courthouse, Fourth Avenue Downtown, Gateway Center, Allegheny on the North Side and Wylie in the Hill District.

Others include Bellevue, Brookline, Hazelwood, Sharpsburg, downtown Uniontown and Central Station in Washington, Pa.

Postal officials say people’s habits have changed. They use technology instead of mail and more automated systems to purchase stamps. Because of this, the post office wants to create what it calls “Village Post Offices” at local stores.

“If you want to dedicate a space in your operation, in your store, you can have a post office in there,” says Kelly. “Many of them we suspect will have PO boxes where mail can actually be delivered there and picked up for customers.

“They’ll be able to sell stamps, they’ll be able to sell our express and priority mail, weight in post packages, the same things you can do in a post office, only it will be in agreement, a partnership with an existing business in the community,” he explained.

This may make the neighborhood post office soon a thing of the past.

No decisions will be made until December. In the meantime, worried parties should call the post office or their members of Congress.

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