Plans to halt Saturday mail delivery spur mixed response in Elkhart

Plans to halt Saturday mail delivery generated mixed response from some Elkhart post office customers.
Posted on Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 6, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.

ELKHART — Darryl Shupert isn’t fretting about U.S. Postal Service plans to halt delivery service on Saturdays.

Melissa Delacruz, meanwhile, isn’t so sure.

The two Elkhart residents offered their thoughts on plans, announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, to stop Saturday mail deliveries beginning in August. USPS officials say the change — which won’t impact package delivery —will help the struggling agency save $2 billion a year, according to the Associated Press.

“Honestly, the people can get the mail they need in five days without hurting them,” Shupert said Wednesday outside the downtown Elkhart Post Office.

For her part, Delacruz, at the post office to close her late mother’s post office box, worries that with the elimination of Saturday service, it’ll take longer to get vital mail, like child support checks. “Without Saturday (service) you have to wait all the way until Monday,” she said.

Though offering a range of views on the elimination of Saturday deliveries, a sampling of customers outside the Main Street post office here expressed agreement on the import of maintaining the USPS, facing increased pressure to stem financial losses.

Lacking a computer and the ability to communicate via email and other electronic means at home, Delacruz relies on the USPS. “I’m not fortunate enough to have a computer and stuff,” she said.

Sharon Hill still uses the postal service to pay bills because she doesn’t trust uploading all her vital information to the web to allow automatic online payment. “To me, I don’t feel secure paying online,” she said. “There’s too much hacking going on.”

Shupert echoed that.

“We’d be lost without the post office,” he said. More germane than Saturday service, though, Shupert thinks the USPS needs to address the funding the agency is required to set aside for retirees’ health benefits, perhaps a bigger financial drain, according to AP.

Still, times are changing, with more and more people handling correspondence electronically, and Ron Sumrak wonders if Wednesday’s announcement is a harbinger of things to come. He figures he pays 90 percent of his bills online and can’t remember the last time he wrote a personal letter and mailed it through the USPS.

“I think it’s just a death spiral for the postal service,” he said.

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