Post office changes: little effect for Tri-Cities

Like rain, sleet and snow, potential looming changes in the U.S. Postal Service should have little effect on Tri-Cities mail delivery, according to local and state postal officials.
Marie Havenga
Dec 6, 2011

Although the Postal Service is looking to close 252 of its nearly 500 mail processing centers to cut costs and avoid bankruptcy next year, the Grand Rapids center — which handles mail for the Tri-Cities area — will remain open, according to U.S. Postal Service media relations spokeswoman Sabrina Todd.

Postal officials announced Monday that they are looking to cut $3 billion and to modify local overnight mailing — meaning that first-class mail could take 2-3 days to be delivered instead of as quickly as one day. The ruling must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Committee to take effect, according to Todd.

Todd said little should change for the Tri-Cities market because Grand Rapids will continue to process Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg mail — even if the realignment is approved by the PRC.

“Your mail delivery should remain overnight, for the most part,” Todd said from Lansing Monday afternoon. “If that’s what is happening right now, it will still happen.”
Todd said the PRC will likely take action on possibly modifying the 1971 overnight delivery standard in the next week or two.

“Information got a little twisted around,” Todd said of national media reports. “What the news conference (Monday) was about was this modification of the mailing standard to support realignment. If realignment takes place, we’ll need 2-3 days instead of the current delivery standard.”

Internet use has gouged into Postal Service territory as more people e-mail cards and letters, and pay bills online.

The Postal Service is projected to have a record loss of $14.1 billion next year. The Postal Service has said the agency must make cuts of $20 billion by 2015 to be profitable.

It already has announced a 1-cent increase in first-class mail to 45 cents, beginning Jan. 22.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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