Changes coming to post offices

Published 9:29am Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recent cost-saving measures by the United States Postal Service mean big changes for some local residents.

A few weeks ago, the USPS held a meeting at the Westover Post Office, announcing that the post office’s hours would be reduced from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to noon-4 p.m. on weekdays and 8-9 a.m. on Saturdays.

The response to that move was immediate, as residents and city leaders at the meeting made their displeasure known, sharing concerns about how the move would affect business growth. Meeting attendees also said they were concerned that Westover doesn’t have its own zip code except at the Westover Post Office, which could negatively affect tax revenues and makes it more difficult for first responders to determine if they should respond to a call.

Bessemer Postmaster Maurice Williams, who led the meeting, said he would share suggestions and concerns with USPS officials.

Also, the USPS recently announced it would stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays, beginning Aug. 5.

Packages will still be delivered on Saturdays, but mail delivery will only be five days a week.

Local business owner Andrew Brown said he believes the USPS made a “small, but necessary step in the right direction” by saving money and ensuring it can continue to run.

He said not receiving mail on Saturdays amounted to a small inconvenience, but wouldn’t be a detriment to his business.

A Montevallo resident, Herschel Hale, said he didn’t think he’d be affected by the post office’s decision not to deliver mail on Saturdays and that he believed the USPS would be able to save a lot of money by making that change.

Most county residents will be affected by the change, even if it’s just finding a fuller mailbox during weekdays. It may also mean waiting a little longer for important documents, checks or letters — which could turn into a big problem.

Whether you will be affected a lot or a little by the post office’s recent changes, be sure to contact the USPS with any problems or concerns you may have. You can find out more at USPS.com.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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