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U.S. Postal Service to stop Saturday mail delivery

The United States Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will stop Saturday delivery of most mailers on Aug. 5, but for many Jasper County residents and businesses the change will not affect them.

Julie Owens of Grinnell felt bad for employees of USPS but said the change will not be a bother to her.

“We may have to add one day for due dates,” said Newton Waterworks General Manager L.D. Palmer.

One of the only businesses affected in Newton will be the Newton Daily News.

“Subscribers who receive the Friday edition of Newton Daily News on Saturday will receive their paper Monday,” Circulation Director Kelly Vest said.

Currently, Alliant Energy does not know how the change will affect their billing department, but Alliant’s online payment system offers a solution.

“This is just another advantage to our online payment system,” a representative from Alliant Energy said. “Rather than relying on mail, customers have the option to pay their bills online at their own pace.”

USPS has been struggling financially for a number of years, and the mail reduction is expected to save about $2 billion annually. USPS already closed a number of offices, and the move signals that the department is having more financial trouble than previously thought.

USPS will continue to deliver packages six days a week, but regular mail will be cut to five.

In a press release, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe stated the following:

“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. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform. As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”

Post offices will continue to operate on Saturday and customers with PO boxes will still receive mail on Saturday.

USPS conducted market research, and based off their findings seven out of 10 Americans supported the change.

“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.”

Since 2006, the Postal Service reduced $15 billion to its annual cost, reduced their workforce by 193,000 or 28 percent and consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations.

Last month, the Postal Service Board of Governors directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of USPS operations.

USPS announced the change six months in advance to allow residential and business customers time to make the necessary adjustments. The change will mark an end to an 150-year tradition.

The Postal Service received no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on sale of various goods to fund their operations.

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