Area shrugs off plans for 5-day-a-week delivery

Posted: February 7, 2013

The Winchester Star

City letter carrier Skeeter Athey makes his rounds Wednesday morning along Berryville Avenue. The U.S. Postal Service may be ending Saturday deliveries in August to stem financial losses. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — No mail, no problem.

News Wednesday of the likely end of Saturday mail delivery — set for August — did not seem to disquiet local residents.

The consensus was that while it may have an impact on a few businesses, for the most part, those who receive mail won’t feel much pain.

“It won’t have a major effect on me,” said Carmen Rio, 68, of Winchester. “Saturday won’t make that big of an impact.”

He said although people have different mailing needs, he did not forsee any major backlash regarding the decision.

David Russell — also of Winchester — agreed, but speculated that businesspeople would be most affected.

“They might have something important to mail about their business and they’ll have to wait until Monday,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see, but it’s going to hurt a little.”

Winchester Star circulation manager Bill Green said the lack of mail runs on Saturday will cause a hiccup for those who receive the newspaper by mail.

“We won’t be able to deliver out to Saturday customers until Monday,” he said, adding that the Saturday edition is the most read newspaper of the week. “We’re no longer going to be a daily paper to our mail subscribers.”

There are currently 575 mail subscribers — who sign up for the service because they are either out of the delivery area or they want the paper delivered to their mailbox.

Green said The Star is working to accommodate subscribers the best they can. Options may include everything from signing up for the e-Edition of the newspaper to absorbing the cost of a more expensive mail route that still would be delivered on Saturday.

Andrea Burrows, with United States Postal Service Corporate Communications, said USPS is giving a six-month notice of the changes precisely so customers can adjust production and mailing schedules to accommodate such preferences.

“Where a target in-home date might have been Friday/Saturday before, the schedule might need to be moved up to Thursday/Friday delivery,” she stated in an email Wednesday. “Advertising Mail customers have both the technical and logistical means to make these adjustments.

“And the Postal Service works closely with them, consulting and helping them make decisions on when mail should be entered into the system to achieve their preferred delivery dates.”

Carol Weare, a spokesperson for Valley Health, predicted that Winchester Medical Center would not be adversely affected.

“The planned cessation of mail delivery on Saturdays really isn’t going to impact us because we have not had our mailroom open for a couple or few years on Saturdays,” she said.

Additionally, Burrows said that post offices currently open on Saturday will remain open. Saturday delivery of mail to post office boxes will continue.

Amy Anderson, 33, of Round Hill, said she thinks the decision will affect her at some point, but not significantly.

“I’m sure [it will affect] some people more than others,” she said. “And maybe not what we get, but what we put into the mail.”

She added that she anticipates it will be more of an inconvenience than anything.

Burrows said that the entire postal network is designed for a significantly larger volume of mail than currently exists, and eliminating Saturday carrier delivery of mail will not cause congestion in the system.

“The Postal Service is committed to working with its business customers to adapt to these changes and adjust entry dates for mailings to ensure timely delivery,” she said.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com