Rain, snow, sleet ... but no weekends

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 08:13 PM

Plans have been announced to end Saturday home mail delivery, and local reaction includes wonder if the U.S. Postal Service will eventually be a thing of the past.

The Postal Service made the announcement Wednesday, with plans for the change expected the week of Aug. 5.

Ed Wilson, a retired educator and member of the Vance County School board, was mailing a letter at the post office on Garnett Street in Henderson Wednesday afternoon.

He believes the expected change would be one step further to the USPS closing its doors completely.

“The Postal Service is going to be gone before long,” Wilson said. “I think this is just another stage they go through in closing down.

“They’re hurting for money. They can’t compete, and I understand that.”

Wilson remembers a time when services of the USPS were used regularly, not the case in today’s age in time.

“You look at mail, routine mail like we used to use, many people really don’t do that,” Wilson said. “They pay bills online. They use the Internet.”

William Hargrove, a resident of Kittrell, moderately uses the services of the post office and is used to limited hours being provided at the location in Kittrell.

“Our service closes at 12 noon out there anyway, out in Kittrell,” Hargrove said. “I don’t see how they’re going to save any money like that. Still, you know a penny goes up every year with the postal service, and I don’t see how they’re losing out that much.”

Business owners at two locations in downtown Henderson also feel they will not suffer after the expected postal service cutback.

“We’ll see what happens. They’re in debt, so I’m sure they have to do something like us all, find ways to balance the ledger,” said Hal Stallings, owner at Grissom’s Shoe Shop on Garnett Street. “It’s not going to be a big thing for me.

“We don’t ship a whole lot here, so it wouldn’t affect me here at the shop at all, other than they usually deliver mail on Saturday.”

Mike Wood, owner at Re-fabulous Furniture and Variety Shop on Garnett Street, says he receives very limited mail at his business and will remain unaffected by any delivery changes.

“I get about one piece of mail per month, and that’s an advertisement thing or something from the town, they’ll ship it to this address,” Wood said. “Saturday doesn’t make any difference to me. If Friday stopped it would be fine with me. I don’t care.

“I don’t do any business on Saturday.”

The Postal Service reported debt at $15.9 billion last year.

Letters and other mail would continue to be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, but to homes and businesses from Monday to Friday only.

Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe, at a press conference announcing the changes, said the cutback could begin as soon as August and save billions of dollars each year.

“The service expects the Saturday mail cutback to begin the week of Aug. 5 and save about $2 billion annually,” said Donahoe.

According to CCN the U.S. Postal Service is banned from borrowing money after they reached the $15 billion debt limit, as capped by Congress, in September of 2012.

In recent years the struggling USPS has relied on borrowing billions in taxpayers dollars, but now is limited to borrowing from the U.S. Treasury, as opposed to private banks.

Given the number of resources providing instant contact online, more and more people are cutting back on the much slower services of the Postal Service, referred to by many as “snail mail.”

Now instead of dealing with pages and pages of paper mailed in an online banking statement people are using their ever-handy computers to view a bank statement online. The same is true for paying bills. Payment can be processed online immediately with an email confirmation allowing for paper free billing.

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.