Local reactions Wednesday ranged from shock to indifference after the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that the agency will end Saturday deliveries except for packages.
Postal officials said the cost-cutting move begins Aug. 10.
Phil Campbell resident Venessa Trapp shrugged at the news while standing outside the downtown Florence post office.
“It doesn’t matter to me one way or the another,” Trapp said.
Florence resident JoAnn Heupel anticipates problems.
“It’s awful,” Heupel said. “Some people won’t get what they may need that day, like their unemployment check or whatever.”
According to a release from the Postal Service, aspects of the plan include:
Trapp’s husband, Thomas Trapp, said he is fine with the Saturday reduction because post offices will remain open on those days.
“As long as that is the case, it will be all right,” Trapp said.
Kay Lampley, of Tuscumbia, was surprised by the news and said she’ll miss the convenience of walking to the mailbox on Saturdays.
“That’s terrible,” Lampley said. “I live in a rural area, and it’s a long way to the post office.”
Florence resident Rosalyn Garner said she is glad the offices will remain open, but worries about the future of employees in the Postal Service if cutbacks continue.
“I still feel bad for the people who could lose their jobs,” Garner said.
Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO for the Postal Service, stated in the release that package delivery has grown, and projections are that it will continue to increase, so officials decided to continue that service on Saturdays.
He said package delivery has experienced a 14 percent volume increase since 2010.
Donahoe said polls indicate nearly 70 percent of Americans support the Postal Service’s switch to five-day delivery as a means to reduce costs.
He said the Postal Service is restructuring and has reduced its annual cost base by about $15 billion. The agency also cut back on the amount of carriers by 193,000, or 28 percent, and consolidated more than 200 mail-processing locations.
The Postal Service incurred a $15.9 billion loss in the past budget year, according to an Associated Press report.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.