Post Office Proposes Fewer Letters on Saturdays

By Matt Porter

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After 150 years of delivering mail six days a week, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday it would like to stop delivery and collection of first class letters on Saturdays.

That's a move that has had many customers talking, and most of them who spoke to Action News couldn't complain.

"They don't get a lot of days off and I think they deserve it," said Shelley Constable, of Johnson City. "And I don't think it's going to kill us to not get letters on Saturday."

"It wouldn't bother me a bit. I don't get anything that important, mostly I get a lot of junk mail," said Jeanne Mellander, of Johnson City.

The post office said the move could save them $2 billion annually.

Mark Kovac, of Windsor, said he depends on the post office and wants them to do whatever they can to stay in business.

"If they got to save some money some how, I can appreciate it," Kovac said.

The post office lost nearly $16 billion last year, and has piled up a $41 billion dollar debt in the past six years.

Binghamton Postmaster Lona Miller said the change is in everyone's best interest.

"We're listening to the customers as to what is a viable option for them," Miller said. "Most customers have said this is something that they can live with and they understand the need for us to do this."

Priority mail, express mail, medical mail and packages would all still be delivered on Saturday under the new plan.

First class junk mail, however, would not.

Miller said package deliveries have actually grown by 14 percent, thanks to online shopping, so they want to encourage that part of their business.

If nothing changes, the post office said it could run out of cash on October 15, 2013, when it will be required to make worker's compensation payment to the U.S. Department of Labor.

"This is the option that we're at," Miller said. "This is where we are in order for us to stay solvent."

Brenda Kukuia, of Binghamton, said she can't imagine life without the men and women in blue.

"We want the postal service, we don't want it to stop. So something has to be done, that's for sure," Kukuia said. "We can't bring the pigeons back, that's for sure."

Under the plan, P.O. Boxes would still be filled. However, the blue mailboxes on street corners would not be emptied on Saturdays.

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