Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For many in Lawrence, cutting Saturday mail delivery poses no problem

February 6, 2013


The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week. Many in Lawrence say that is fine with them.

The reason for the cuts, according to U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe, is the agency's ongoing financial problems. The delivery change, which is expected to begin Aug. 5, would save about $2 billion each year.

“Our financial condition is urgent,” Donahoe said at a press conference.

In Lawrence, officials at City Hall, Kansas University, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, business owners and residents said they didn't think the change would affect them at all. Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses Monday through Friday, but would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. The Lawrence post office branch at 645 Vermont St., would retain its Saturday hours, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Dan Nicholson, a pastor at a Lawrence church, said that would be good enough for him. He was at the Vermont Street post office Wednesday, and will still be able to access his post office box six days a week.

"It's just another day," Nicholson said. "If I were a business, maybe that would be different."

But even local copy and printing businesses that depend heavily on mailings and delivery services said they would be fine on Saturdays. At Copy Co, 1401 W 23rd St., store manager Evan Friedman said he had read about the coming change and, after thinking about it, decided things wouldn't change much for him. The store, which uses other delivery services for important packages, depends on the postal service only for invoices and other smaller items.

"It's nothing that's going to hurt us by not getting it on Saturday," Friedman said.

Dee Bisel, owner of Minuteman Press, 501 Gateway Dr., said her business is heavily involved in producing and shipping mass mailing items such as newsletters and advertisements, and if service was cut on a weekday, it could be bad for business. But Minuteman operates Monday through Friday and doesn't need mail service on Saturdays. Bisel said the change was smart.

"They've got to do something to cut back somehow," she said. "What the heck, your bills will still be there Monday."

Lawrence Memorial Hospital hasn't had Saturday delivery in a long time, said Belinda Rehmer, an LMH spokeswoman. The hospital has its mail picked up and delivered by two services and neither comes to the hospital on Saturdays.

At City Hall, officials also are not concerned. The cuts should not affect city services, such as the mailing of utility bills, said Megan Gilliland, communications manager for the city. "We mail all of our bills on Mondays or Fridays, and the cycles are built so that individuals have 21 days to pay their bills," she said. "Residents should still have enough time to pay their bills even without Saturday mail service."

Not everyone agrees with the change. Local representatives of the letter carriers' union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, said their position was detailed in a statement released by the union's president Wednesday that strongly opposed the cuts.

No information about possible layoffs or changes to staffing at local post offices was available Wednesday.

Postal service officials say cuts are necessary and the change capitalizes on the agency's strengths. 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.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 2 months ago

One less trip a week half a block to my mailbox.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

I'd love to just have a consistent letter carrier on our route again and somewhat regular delivery times. For the last year it's been "mailman of the day" and delivery is anywhere from 9 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh, just stupid things like checks that need to be deposited.

GUMnNUTS 5 years, 2 months ago

How late is your bank open on Saturday?

Jason Johnson 5 years, 2 months ago

Yeah we get to play the weekly neighborhood "mail swap" since our carrier(s) can't seem to read.

deec 5 years, 2 months ago

The post office has what are essentially internal temps who receive less pay and little or no benefits. These folks work many different routes and are being increasingly used to replace career employees. They infrequently work routes so they don't have them memorized like permanent employees would. Lower-quality service is a direct result of the cost-cutting measures. The post office has eliminated at least 110,000 jobs since 2007, but the number of addresses has stayed the same or possibly increased with growth in suburbs.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

I live three blocks from the main post office. When I know I have a package coming I track it on-line and walk there myself to pick it up rather than rely on delivery.

One carrier delivered an order to an address two blocks away and when I asked him were it was he said "I don't know." The only way I was ever able to find it was because it was delivered to someone who knew me and contacted me to let me know he had it.

Last March I went through a period where I didn't receive any mail at all for days at a time. I ended up being charged late fees on bills I didn't pay only because I never received them.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

Can't pay a vet bill that's never delivered.

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

Can't pay it if you don't know you have one. You don't know the situation as to why the vet was going to send me a bill rather than have me pay that day.

deec 5 years, 2 months ago

I bet that is really aggravating.. Your situation reminded me of this:

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

I filed a complaint with the postmaster about the crappy delivery. That letter carrier was gone a couple of weeks later and we've never had a regular one since.

pace 5 years, 2 months ago

I THINK ALL CORPORATIONS and all government agencies should have to prepay and reserve their employees retirement funds

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