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Saturday mail delivery ending

Postal Service shaves day to cut costs

POSTED: February 7, 2013 12:24 a.m.
 

Laurence Rothstein has never waited outside his mailbox on a Saturday for important correspondence. There’s e-mail for that.

“I’m never really in a great hurry to get my mail,” said Rothstein, president of the Forsyth County AARP chapter. “I can wait until Monday.”

But even those less connected to technology say they won’t be upset in August, when the United States Postal Service has announced it will cut Saturday mail delivery.

AARP member Marjorie Reeves, who doesn’t have a computer in her home, said she’ll just have to adjust.

“I’ve learned this as I’m getting older. Adjustments are a part of life and the easier we do it the better off we are,” she said. “The post office has [financial] problems and if it means they can keep the post office going and not [keep] going up on the price of stamps, I’m for [it].”

Cumming Postmaster Ann Berger said she will miss Saturday delivery, but “statistics have shown that seven out of 10 people do not care one way or the other if they get their mail on Saturdays.”

In a public statement, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe noted that cutting Saturday delivery likely will generate about $2 billion in savings.

“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” Donahoe said.

“The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”

Come August, Berger said the retail portion of the Cumming branch will remain open on Saturdays and those with a post office box still will receive new mail.

The change will just be for home delivery. With the reduction in standard mail, however, comes an increase in package shipments, which Berger said has risen 14 percent over the past two years.

Because of the increase in volume and reliability, the Postal Service will continue delivering packages six days a week and Express Mail will run all seven days.

Saturday was selected to discontinue home delivery “because it has the week’s lowest daily mail volume and more than one-third of businesses are closed on Saturdays,” Berger said.

The announcement was made less than two weeks after the service increased its standard letter and postcard prices by 1 cent on Jan. 27.

Berger said she’s uncertain of how the Saturday change will impact the local branch and staff levels, but the Postal Service will be “rolling out different things weekly and monthly to make it a smooth transition.”

“It will restore the organization to its long-term financial stability,” Berger said. “It’s a fairly large change for us.”

Meanwhile Reeves, who doesn’t use e-mail or social media to communicate like her children and grandchildren do, suggested another method.

“If anybody wants me, call me … I’ve always got the cell phone,” she said.

 

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