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Locals shrug at loss of Saturday service PDF Print E-mail
Friday, February 08, 2013 6:28 PM

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DELPHOS — The U.S. Postal Service will mark the end of an era that began in 1863. On Aug. 5, Saturday home delivery and collection of letters, magazines and other first-class mail will end; however, delivery of packages of all sizes would continue six days a week. The shift in service follows a dismal budget year with the agency suffering a $15.9 billion loss. The Postal Service announced its plan on Wednesday and expects to save $2 billion a year with the pending cutbacks.

Given the evolution of customer’s behaviors and technological advancements, the Postal Service needed to adjust the way it does business and has focused its services around package delivery. Since 2010, the delivery of letters and other mail has plummeted. The “going green” initiative, convenience of the Internet and digital downloads and subscriptions have decreased the bulk of paper letters, billing statements and magazines, but online purchases have increased package shipping by 14 percent.

A recent survey conducted at the Delphos Post Office indicates postal customers feel stopping mail delivery on Saturdays will not affect them and does not matter. Amy Musser will not miss the bills showing up in her mailbox on Saturdays. The one drawback is timing—getting her mailed payments into the mail so they arrive at their proper destination on time.

“We, my husband and I don’t use the internet to pay bills,” Musser reasoned. “We prefer to deal with the paper billing.”

Since the closing of the Lima Processing and Distribution Facility Mail Operations in October 2010, some residents have experienced delays in receiving their mail. With those types of delays in mind, Greg Zenz believes the change in service may lead to customers experiencing frustration with slower delivery times — businesses will no longer be able to rely on Saturday mail to get work started or completed on Monday morning.

“If somebody’s expecting a timely piece of mail like an income tax refund check, it would be frustrating to wait an extra day,” Zenz empathized.
Marc Smith thinks it’s common-sense move.

“I’m all for cutting federal spending,” Smith was adamant. “Things like that are not easy but it has to be done.”

The popular consensus of the public is also shared by a few Delphos business managers who are open on Saturdays. ACE Hardware manager Jeff Fritz is not concerned with the change in mail service since his store relies more on receiving and sending its own in-house mail.

“I hope they go down to three days,” Fritz clarified his stance. “They need to do whatever it takes to get their finances in order.”
Shane Wagoner, manager of Best One Tire & Service, gave his perspective on how the stoppage will effect his production.

“I work on Saturdays and handle accounts receivable,” Wagoner described his situation. “Receiving payments and updating billing will be delayed an extra day.”
The plan will affect approximately 22,500 jobs and the strategy is to eliminate overtime, offer buyouts and rely much more on the part-time workforce rather than resorting to laying employees off. There will be no changes to post offices that are currently open on Saturday and mail will continue to be delivered to P.O. boxes.
The key culprit for the Postal Service’s woes has been a 2006 Congressional mandate, under which it has to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. The USPS has been borrowing billions of dollars from taxpayers to make up for the shortfalls.



0 #1 2013-02-09 08:54
Thanks for the post

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