(Missoula Current) After months of consideration, the United States Postal Service on Tuesday followed through with plans to move some of its operations from Missoula to Spokane while pledging to modernize its Kent Street facility.

The Postal Service in January published a notice of intent to consolidate roughly 30 processing and distribution centers and said it was “highly likely” that each of those centers would be “modernized and repurposed.”

Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines criticized the move back then as shortsighted and maintained their criticism after Tuesday's announcement to move some Missoula operations to Washington.

“Moving Missoula's outgoing mail processing operations out of state will hurt countless small businesses, veterans, and seniors that rely on timely delivery from USPS to stay afloat – and we’ve seen it proven time and time again with previous consolidations,” Tester said. “Montanans of all political stripes have voiced their frustrations with this plan, which is why I’ll keep fighting to ensure that Montanans have a Postal Service they can rely on.”

Daines offered similar concerns, saying he had “serious concerns about mail delivery and potential job losses in Montana” as a result of the decision. He pledged to press “the Postal Service for answers while urging them to reconsider this decision.”

According to the USPS, the Kent Street facility in Missoula will remain open and modernized as a Local Process Center. The USPS plans to invest more than $12 million into the facility, “which will result in expanded and streamlined package and mail processing and distribution capabilities.”

“There will be no career layoffs as part of this initiative,” the Postal Service said in a statement. “All career bargaining unit reassignments, as well as any reduction in any number of pre-career employees, will be made in accordance with respective collective bargaining agreements.”

The agency further stated that its investment in the Missoula facility is part of the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America plan to improve organizational and operational processes, and actively make the Postal Service “an efficient, high-performing, world-class logistics and delivery provider.”