NEW ORLEANS The planned closure of the U.S. Postal Service's mail processing center on Loyola Avenue will be delayed until at least February 2014, with New Orleans not making on a list of consolidations and closures released Thursday.

The first phase of the Postal Service's cost-cutting plan, announced Thursday, involves consolidating 140 of its 461 current mail processing plants nationwide.The New Orleans facility is not on that list, though a Lafayette facility will be consolidated into a Baton Rouge processing center.

New Orleans is likely still to be included in phase two of the consolidation plan, which would impact 89 consolidations and is scheduled to begin in February 2014, according to the Postal Service.The first phase, announced Thursday, will result in up to 140 consolidations through February 2013.

The New Orleans closure and consolidation plan has been discussed for several months, with city, state and congressional leaders concerned that it would result in 880 jobs leaving the city or being eliminated.

'We revised our network consolidation timeline to provide a longer planning schedule for our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and to enable a more methodical and measured implementation,' said the statement from Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service.

The Postal Service has said that growing deficits and reduced customer demand have led to a massive budget shortfall and need for restructuring.

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