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Postal Service to Stop Saturday Delivery

February 7, 2013

Heidi Harris/Times-Record Those who receive their mail through a mailbox on a street or rural route will soon have empty mailboxes on Saturdays, as the United States Postal Service announced plans to stop delivery of regular mail on street and routes Saturdays. The change is tentatively set for Aug. 5.

The United States Postal Service announced Wednesday plans to transition to a new delivery schedule that will end regular mail delivery Saturdays on street and rural routes.

“Right now, the new change at this time is scheduled to start the week of Aug. 5,” Valley City Postmaster Sherry Johnson said, adding that the schedule is still tentative to change.

“That being said, mail will continue to be delivered to post office box customers just as is, so if you have a P.O. box, you won’t notice a change,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the Postal Service’s decision to end street and rural mail delivery on Saturdays is one way to cut costs.

According to a press release by the USPS, “given ongoing financial challenges, the Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations to further reduce costs in order to strengthen Postal Service finances.”

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

The release also stated, “While the change in the delivery schedule is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of USPS, USPS continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue.”

The Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages during the past several years. Strong recent growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continue strong growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

“As of now, (the Postal Service) is looking at keeping package delivery on Saturday, but not letters, first class mail, and things like that,” Johnson said.

Also, Johnson said, there will be no change to the window service on Saturday, which is open from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

“The big change, if this change goes through as implemented, is that there will not be delivery of regular mail Saturday. There will be regular process Monday through Friday,” she said.

She said if customers want mail six days per week, the Valley City Post Office does have P.O. boxes available to rent.

Johnson said more information on the change will come as the Postal Service makes decisions.

“A lot of things have to happen in six months,” she said.

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