Possible mail delivery change

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

East Texas (KLTV) - Instead of getting your mail delivered 6 days a week, it may only come 5 days a week. It's an option the U.S. Postal Service is presenting before Congress, as a way to cut operational costs.

The Postmaster General says there's been a huge drop in mail volume and they're losing billions of dollars. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane takes a look at what this may mean for all of us.

E-mail and electronic bills are cutting their routes short.

"People nowadays rely more on technology then the snail mail," said Jessica Romero.

"A book of stamps lasts me a long time," said Barbara Draper.

Also, factor in nation-wide layoffs and company closings.

"In Tyler or Longview, whenever companies have closed, they are no longer mailing letters or they are no longer advertising the fact that they have a product or service for sell," explained USPS spokesperson, McKinney Boyd. "Last year we processed 9 billion fewer pieces than we did the year before."

That translates into a nearly 3-billion dollar loss last year, and a projected loss of 6 billion in 2009.

"As volume continues to decline we're losing money," said Boyd. "We make almost 40% of our revenue from first class mail volume. The other 60% comes from our advertising mail. We need more first class volume, we're not getting it."

Before Congress Wednesday, the Postmaster General asked permission to cut back mail delivery to 5 days. It wouldn't necessarily be Saturday. They're also considering a week-day when mail flow is lighter.

"If it saves them a lot of money I'd rather do that than go up on the stamp prices," said Marel Hanks.

But for small businesses, like Janie's Cakes, it would be a hardship.

"It just seems like the Post Office needs to be up and running 6 days a week," said Janie Clapp, owner of Janie's Cakes. "Businesses depend on that and still get important documents through the mail and checks and other correspondence that they need during the week."

It's a decision that won't come in overnight, but it is a priority to cut costs for the Postal Service.

It's up to the Postal Governing Board to make a final decision. The Postal Service said they've already cut costs in other ways, such as halting construction on new facilities, reducing staff levels and freezing salaries for officers and executives.