Postal service wants to change when mail is delivered - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Postal service wants to change when mail is delivered

(KFVS) -

Mail delivery as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. The US Postal Service faces financial troubles. The head of the postal service testified Tuesday in Washington that it stands to lose $10 billion for the fiscal year, which ends later this month. That's a bigger loss than it previously expected. The postmaster general says the service is at risk of defaulting on payments as it hits its borrowing limit.

This year alone a 167 billion pieces of mail will go through the US postal system. But the shift to email and a staggered economy could change to when you get mail.

It's part of Donna Burgess's afternoon routine. She makes a trip to the mailbox. Burgess says she looks forward to this form of communication each day. 

"Get a letter or a card or something like that in the mail of course they're always some bills," Burgess said.  

One of those bills comes from the Marion, Illinois Water Department. Water Commissioner Anthony Rinella says they send out over 8,000 bills a month, along with a number of other notices.  He says while an e-bill system is in the works, not everyone owns a computer.

"Regardless of having various ways, on-line services to pay water bills, we still would rely on the U.S. Postal Service for the bulk of our billings," Rinella said.  

To keep the postal Service open for business, the postmaster general wants to change how they operate.

It's a change that will need congressional approval.

"Basically we're asking for three things, the flexibly for our business model, we're asking for the end of Saturday deliver and we're asking for to remove our employees from the federal health benefit plan," Marion Postmaster Curt Shadowens said.

Shadowens says 8 million other private sector jobs depend on the post office nationwide. He adds the postal service is not going to shut down.

"We've survived the telegraph, the telephone and the fax machine and we're going to survive this too," Shadowens said.  

But survive the times, it could mean burgess, like many others, will no longer need to check the mail box on Saturdays. It's a change, Burgess says she wouldn't mind.

"Get a lot of junk mail on the weekends," Burgess added.

The Postal service also wants approval to close down 3700 post offices and eliminate 220,000 jobs. At least two Heartland post offices may be on the chopping block. One is in Dutchtown, the other in Perkins.

Postal officials recently held community meetings in both places to listen to people, hear their concerns, and tell them what could happen if their post office closes. Nobody in either community wants their branch to close, but the post office says closure could be necessary to save money.    

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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