Rahall comments on Post Office Schedule change - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV congressional leaders comment on Post Office schedule change

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An announcement by the United States Postal Service on Wednesday, Feb. 6 unveiled a plan to save money by putting a stop to mail service on Saturdays.

The transition to the new schedule will happen over the week of Aug. 5.  While mail will no longer be delivered, the new schedule will not affect package delivery.  The Postal Service expects that the change will save around $2-Billion a year once it is put into place.

"We developed this approach  by working with out customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

According to the release, the Postal Service was planning to scale back package delivery as well. However, a 14-percent increase in package delivery since 2010 is expected to continue over the next 10 years.  That trend lead to the decision to keep package deliveries on the current schedule.

Mail that is addressed to Post Office Boxes will still be delivered on Saturdays, and local post offices that are open on Saturdays now will remain on their current schedules.

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) spoke up about the decision by the U.S.P.S. and how it will affect residents of West Virginia.

"I share the frustration of many West Virginians who believe that the Postal Service is intent upon achieving cost savings through service reductions at rural postal facilities. I continue to fight these efforts and have communicated my concern repeatedly to both the Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission," said Rahall. "Postal services play a tremendous role in the ability of our citizens in southern West Virginia to stay connected and I will continue to press the Postal Service to look at other ways to become more profitable and competitive by improving and modernizing its services rather than cutting off rural customers and undermining its public service obligations."

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was also disappointed with the decision.

"In our rural areas, these postal facilities are more than just places to send and receive mail – they are truly the lifelines of their communities and can be the only way a town is able to stay connected," said Manchin. "Although the Postal Service must cut back on spending and get its fiscal house in order, cutting the muscle instead of the fat from its budget will not benefit the agency and will harm our communities in West Virginia and across our country."

Meanwhile, Officials with the Postal Service said that while the changes announced are needed to restore the organizations financial health, Congress also needs to address matters that are outside the control of the postal service.