TOLEDO — Kimberly Jolley took a transfer last year when the U.S. Postal Service closed the Lima Processing and Distribution Center.Now she has an unsold home in Lima and an apartment rental that’s about what she’d pay for gas to commute. She might have to move again if postal officials carry out a plan to close the facility in Toledo.“It makes me sick to my stomach,” said Jolley, 51, a 25-year employee of the postal service. Co-workers Scott Riggs, Patrice Suever and Kalen Mingle are in the same situation, with apartments in Toledo and unsold homes in the Lima area.All four former employees of the former Lima mail processing center attended a public hearing Thursday at Toledo’s Stranahan Theater. About 700 people attended, more than half of them postal workers opposed to a proposal to close the Toledo Mail Processing and Distribution Center and send its mail to bigger facilities in Detroit and Columbus.In October 2010, the postal service closed the Lima facility and transferred about half of the 86 workers to Toledo, saying consolidation would save about $12 million a year.This time, officials say the additional consolidation will save $19 million a year.The employees don’t have much faith in the savings projections.“If it saved money, you could understand it,” Suever said. “But we’re not convinced it has saved anything.”Arnie Cowell, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 170, said operating costs rose about $12 million, from $42 million to $55 million, in fiscal 2011 for the Toledo facility, almost exactly what the Postal Service hoped to save by closing the Lima plant.Postal officials insist the consolidation is necessary to stay ahead of projected reductions in mail.First-class mail volume declined more than 43 billion pieces per year in the past five years, said Todd Hawkins, manager of the U.S. Postal Service’s Northern Ohio District.“If your expenses are greater than your income, what do you do?” Hawkins asked.Under the proposed changes, mail originating from Lima’s 458 ZIP code would be trucked to Columbus for processing. The Columbus facility is substantially larger and more efficient than Toledo, said USPS spokesman David Van Allen.Gone by the wayside would be the Postal Service’s commitment to overnight delivery of first-class mail because of the greater distance between regional processing centers and increased hours of operation there. The postal service intends “to rebuild the network around a two-to-three day delivery standard,” Hawkins said.Postal union leaders pin much of the current financial hardship on the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act of 2006 — a congressional mandate to prefund health and retirement benefits for postal workers several decades into the future. They contend if Congress removed this mandate, the Postal Service would instantly return to profitability.Several elected officials were represented, including staff members for U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Rob Portman.A statement by Latta, R-Bowling Green, expressed his worry about the proposal, “especially due to the difficulties that were encountered by the Lima Processing Center closure in 2010.”Latta’s statement concluded: “I especially urge you to conduct the Toledo study with extreme diligence due to the mistakes that were made in the transfer of the Lima Processing Center to Toledo and the resulting degradation in service.”No officials from Allen County attended or spoke at Thursday’s session. That may be because postal officials, in an apparent oversight, neglected to notify officials in the 458 ZIP code area about the hearing.The Postal Service is continuing to accept written statements about the proposal. Written comments may be sent to Manager of Consumer and Industry Contact, Northern Ohio District, 2400 Orange Ave., Room 25, Cleveland, OH 44101-9604. Comments must be postmarked by Jan. 13.You can comment on this story at www.LimaOhio.com.