Eleven employees of Boston’s municipal printing department headed into the Fourth of July weekend with the glum knowledge that they would not be returning to work this week. Their jobs were taken away by the city’s decision to close the 113-year-old plant and give the work to private-sector printers. The Boston Globe reported that a total of 16 jobs had been eliminated by the end of plant’s last day in operation on June 30, including five formerly held by employees who were offered positions as parking enforcement officers. The city expects to save $800,000 to $1 million annually by outsourcing the work once done in the 18,000-sq.-ft. plant, which is characterized in the story as a mostly antiquated operation that would be too costly to modernize. “For the city, closing the plant was a business decision, relegating pressmen and others in the craft to the same fate as blacksmiths and candlestick makers,” the article states. “Desktop computers, digital documents, and sophisticated copiers have dramatically reduced the city’s need for its own press.” Quoted in the piece are Frank Romano, in his capacity as president of the Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA; and Bob Neubauer, editor of In-Plant Graphics, who is quoted as saying that successful municipal in-plants look outside their parent organizations for additional work. The Boston plant had not sought outside contracts in recent memory, according to the story. The story also says that the plant cost the city $2.65 million to operate in the 2009 budget year, including labor, insurance, pension, and overhead costs. This contrasts with the $1.4 million that the city now plans to spend on outside printing services.