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Say good-bye to Saturday

Saturday mail delivery will soon go the way of the Pony Express for Bureau County residents as well as residents across the country.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5 that will eliminate Saturday delivery.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General/CEO. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

Once implemented by the end of August, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday.

However, packages will continue to be delivered six days per week and, mail addressed to P.O. boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. In addition, post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open. 

The Postal Service expects to save about $2 billion annually with the change.

Eliminating Saturday delivery is the latest step taken by the Postal Service to stem a tide of red ink. In November 2012, the Postal Service announced it ended the 2012 fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2012, with a record net loss of $15.9 billion, compared to a net loss of $5.1 billion for the same period last year. 

“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” said Donahoe. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. mail.”

The Postal Service is currently implementing major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations.

In July 2011, the Postal Service announced that eight Bureau County post offices were on the list for possible closing, part of the more than 3,600 retail offices nationwide under consideration.

In April 2012, the Senate voted to delay any decisions of closing post offices for a year, so plans were announced in May 2012 to cut the hours of 21 Bureau County post offices, some by as much as 75 percent.

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