The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

February 6, 2013

Local reactions mixed on US Postal Service news

ANDERSON, Ind. — With the news that the United States Postal Service plans to cease mail delivery on Saturdays in six months came mixed responses locally from those who receive mail at home.

Beginning Aug. 5, as part of a cost-saving measure, the Postal Service will continue to disburse packages Monday through Saturday, but only deliver mail to street addresses Monday through Friday. Financially struggling, the Postal Service estimated it will save $2 billion annually with the switch.

“If it will save some money, it’s OK with me,” said Kay M. Thompson, of Anderson.

What carriers don’t deliver Friday can wait until Monday, she said.

Market research, conducted by both the Postal Service and major news organizations, indicated that nearly 70 percent of Americans support the change, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

Linzie Harris, of Anderson, said the change will be an inconvenience.

There have been times she’s expected mail on a Friday and instead received it the next day. Now, she added, she’ll have to wait three days for it.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” she said. “They should keep it going like it already is.”

Strong growth in package delivery, a 14 percent volume increase since 2010, contributed to the decision to maintain package delivery six days per week, said Mary Dando, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman.

Meanwhile delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and the ability to pay bills online, she added.

“I think it’s fine,” said Anderson resident Bob McCurry of the upcoming change in services. He added that most of the mail he receives on Saturdays is third class.

But those who receive home deliveries won’t be the only ones affected.

Dando said the Postal Service is trying to prevent any layoffs by aiming for reassignments and attrition — the average age of a mail carrier is 54, but that there will be fewer carriers on Saturday locally and across the nation.

She added that postmasters at the different locations will likely make those scheduling decisions.

“Some (letter carriers) will get the weekend off,” she said. “Something many have never had in their whole career.”

Post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain so and mail addressed to PO boxes will also continue to be disbursed on the weekend day.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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