The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 8, 2013

Locals support USPS proposal

The Daily Southerner
MIRANDA BAINES

ROCKY MOUNT — The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced Wednesday that it would stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but would continue to deliver packages six days a week beginning in early August. Mail addressed to post office boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. The USPS says the plan would save about $2 billion annually. While the total mail volume decreased 21 percent from 2008 to 2012, the USPS has seen a 14 percent increase in package deliveries since 2010.

Under the new plan, post offices now open on Saturdays, including Tarboro’s post office on Main Street, would remain open. The Tarboro post office is open from 9 a.m. until noon Saturdays. Tarboro residents, including letter carriers, voiced their wide-ranging opinions on the USPS’ decision.

Woody Walston, a mail handler in rural Edgecombe County, said, “Overall, it wouldn’t bother us. We can handle it, if it comes to pass. Congress has not approved it … Priority and Express Mail, we’ll probably do it a day earlier. We’ll do it Thursday instead of Friday.”

There was overwhelming support for the plan based on the results of a non-scientific poll conducted Thursday by The Daily Southerner.

Felicia Powell of Tarboro said, “Frankly, I think it’s fine. I don’t get that much mail on Saturday anyway. I know about when I’m looking for something.”

Business operator Kenny Dixon, who owns Tarboro Window Company, said because his business is closed over the weekend, he sees no reason to oppose the move.

“That wouldn’t bother me a bit to cut it out. I’m not even open Saturday or Sunday. If I need it that fast, I can get it overnighted. It (closures) will save millions of dollars,” he added.

But another downtown businessman, Classic Diner’s Bud Woolard, prefers to keep his Saturday delivery.

“I’d rather for it to run on Saturdays,” he said. “I think the post office does a good job.”

Donald Mobley added, “I’m retired. It don’t make any difference to me. I hate to see it for some of the employees because some of them working on Saturday. That’s good money for them. I can understand the post office, too, having to cut back.”

The economy caught Rick Purdy’s ire.

“The way the economy is, you have to figure out the income for that entire day [Saturday] and what they pay their employees and do the math. A lot of businesses are on the brink of going under.”

Finally, Tarboro collector of revenue Lynne Fleming said, “If it will help them save some money, then I’m all for it,” she said. “We don’t know how it’s going to affect us yet as far as the [town] business. If they don’t process the mail on Saturday, we may not get our mail as early on Monday and we may not get that mail until Tuesday. That may put some of our customers in jeopardy of being late.” Fleming encouraged Tarboro residents to use the drop box in front of the town hall for utility payments after hours to avoid late payments.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe says the move would shave about $2 billion a year from postal services losses, which were $15.9 billion last year.

Since 2010, the agency has continued to close post offices, reduce hours at many small, rural offices and cut staff.