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Saturday mail delivery safe for now

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Saturday mail delivery is saved, for now.

Congress blocked U.S. Postal Service plans to discontinue Saturday mail delivery on Tuesday.

Under the Postal Service’s proposed change, postal carriers would no longer deliver mail to homes or businesses on Saturdays. It would not have impacted post office boxes or package deliveries.

The rationale, according to the Postal Service, lies in the sharp decline in first-class mail volume, while the rise of e-commerce has helped spur a 14-percent increase in package deliveries within the last two years.

In Wilson County alone, the proposed change would have impacted roughly 60,000 homes and businesses. Many newspapers, such as The Democrat, also rely on the Postal Service for delivery to their customers.

“We are delighted that the Postal Service has decided to bend to the will of Congress,” said Joe Adams, The Democrat's publisher. “The Lebanon Publishing Co. stands ready to serve the needs of its advertisers and subscribers, regardless of any future Postal Service decisions.”

The change, which was originally planned to take effect Aug. 5, was intended to cut budget shortfalls in the ailing agency.

According to the Postal Service, it faces a $238 billion shortfall over the next decade and changing the delivery schedule could save the agency about $2 billion annually.

The Postal Service Board of Governors issued a statement Wednesday expressing disappointment in the roadblock.

“Although disappointed with this congressional action, the board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” said the board in its statement.

The board said the schedule change was part of a larger five-year plan to restore financial stability, but it emphasized the importance of that schedule change.

“It is not possible for the Postal Service to met significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule – any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion,” said the board.

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