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Residents disappointed with announcement to end Saturday mail delivery

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MASSENA - The U.S. Postal Service’s recently announced plans to end Saturday mail deliveries has worried some north country residents who rely on the 237-year-old institution for payings their bills and sending correspondence.

After losing $16 billion last year, the Postal Service announced Wednesday they will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, which is projected to save the federal agency approximately $2 billion per year. The Postal Service will still deliver packages six days per week and will not change their operating hours, allowing residents with P.O. Boxes to still pick up their mail Saturdays at the post office. The agency says they will eliminate Saturday deliveries from letter carriers and rural letter carriers starting Aug. 1.

Potsdam resident Lelah Edick is concerned ending Saturday deliveries will interfere with her ability to pay her bills on time.

“At the beginning of the month I might have to adjust how I pay my bills,” Ms. Edick said. “It might make some of my payments late (because of the change).”

Massena resident James J. Jandrew isn’t too concerned about the end of Saturday mail deliver, because he has a P.O. Box at the Massena Post Office. But he believes the cut may impact some elderly persons who haven’t made the transition to online banking, billing and correspondence. “If I had letters delivered (to my home), it would affect me,” Mr. Jandrew said.

Others see the cut as a natural, necessary step for the cash-strapped Postal Service during these times of economic uncertainty and transition toward paperless, online services.

“I don’t like it, but they have to do what they have to do,” Massena resident Ross Violi said.

Loreen E. Dow of Massena sees the service cut as a sensible move, since most federal and local government offices are closed Saturday as well.

Others are concerned about the loss of more public empoyment positions. According to www.usps.com, the Postal Service currently employs approximately 550,000 people, though in recent years has made cuts to personnel, offices and hours to cope with billion-dollar annual losses.

Some residents wouldn’t mind a cancelation of Saturday mail delivery, noting there are a wide variety of electronic methods for correspondence and bill payment.

“You just have to plan ahead more. You can pay your bills over the phone or do it online,” Potsdam resident Jean M. Stoian said. “Sometimes I let my mail sit here (in my P.O. Box) for a couple days anyway.”

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