Postal Service to Stop Saturday Deliveries

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- Saturday mail will soon be a thing of the past, at least when it comes to letters. The U.S. Postal Service says the change will take effect in August.

The Harrison Post Office location is open until 7:00 and people were still filing on in, many after work, to get those letters and bills mailed. But come August, Saturday mail will be gone and it could take longer to get those letters to their destinations.

The sounds of a busy post office will soon be dying down on the weekends, now that the U.S. Postal Service is scrapping letter delivery on Saturdays, however it will still deliver weekend packages.

The U.S.P.S says the move will save $2 billion dollars annually, but it's not much compared to the nearly $16 billion it lost last year. The post office says most of that debt is due to mandatory health benefits they must pay now for future retirees. It's a mandate they hope Congress will change

Customers say they depend on these mailboxes at the post office to get their bills delivered on time. Now they say it is going to be an inconvenience.

"I depend on everything for the mail, I don't use any internet bill payment,” said John Symington. “We're old school, we mail our bills."

Others say leaving our mailboxes empty for an extra day is worth it. "If it's going to save the taxpayers money in the long run, I'm all for it,” said Rockford man, Allan White.

Some people have suggested increasing the price of stamps.. Instead of nixing Saturday mail. However, these stamps just increased to 46 cents a little over a week ago and postal reps say they can only increase it so much at a time. They also say their debt is much bigger than what one of these stamps can fix. Post offices will still be open on Saturdays and people can still pick up mail at their P.O. boxes.

The Postal Service says full-time employees likely won't be affected. Although, hours could be reduced for part-time workers. They say there will also be some reassignment and attrition.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion annually, the financially struggling agency says.

In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August.

The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services.

Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday, but would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval.

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