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Postal Service Reports Surplus, Awards Truck Contract

September 9, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Postal Service Board of Governors on Tuesday approved a $75 million purchase of mail delivery vans from the Chevrolet division of General Motors Corp.

The $19,141 price tag for each of the 3,925 two-ton vans is $1,750 less than the agency paid for similar vans in 1984.

The Postal Service said the aluminum body, diesel-powered vans will significantly cut fuel costs while increasing cargo capacity. They are 50 percent more fuel-efficient and 36 percent larger than current postal vans.

The vans are expected to last 15 years or 150,000 miles, compared with the normal eight-year or 80,000-mile life cycle for vans.

The board also authorized spending $13.4 million for 970 semi-trailers to be built by Baillie Manufacturing Co., of Gibson City, Ill., and Stoughton Trailers, Inc. of Stoughton, Wis.

Another $125.6 million expenditure was authorized to build a general mail and vehicle maintenance facility in Maspeth, Queens, N.Y.

At present mail must be shuttled among nine buildings in Queens, a borough of New York City.

Postmaster General Preston R. Tisch told the board that a new general mail facility in Washington, D.C. opened two weeks ago 21 months ahead of schedule and under budget.

He attributed the savings of time and money to a decision to have the facility designed and built under a single contract. He said the agency may follow that concept for future construction projects.

Tisch reported that the Postal Service has a $488 million surplus as it headed into the last eight weeks of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, $223 million better than anticipated.

A loss of $87.3 million during the previous four weeks was $5.5 million less than planned. The summer accounting periods usually show losses because volume of mail drops.

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