U.S. Postal Service gears up for changes in 2010

The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission releases its new list of postal locations that may close. And some Arkansas spots dropped off the list.
A new list out Monday shows the Postal Regulatory Commission is only considering closing four postal locations in the state.  That's down from eight earlier this year.  Here in central Arkansas the spots are the Pleasant Ridge location off Cantrell in west Little Rock and another spot near the airport.  The announcement comes on the busiest mailing day of the year for the postal service.  Despite the closures, the postal service is doing everything it can to make things easier on customers.

Leisa Tolliver Gay with the U.S.P.S. said, "when the economy kind of sunk it really effected the Post Office."  Fewer mass mailings and more people paying bills online equal fewer dollars for U.S.P.S. so on top of the potential closures the postal service increases shipping rates starting January 4th.  But first class rates will not go up.  And U.S.P.S. is trying to get you to send more packages by offering flat rates on packages regardless of where it's going.  "You can fit as much as you want in there, close it up and it doesn't matter whether it weighs 50 pounds or 2 pounds," Tolliver Gay said.

And they offer free delivery confirmation if you print off your own postage online and ship from home.  Tolliver Gay said, "we want our changes to be a positive for customers and employees."  Those with the postal service say they're also operating with fewer people since they aren't filling vacant positions.  But they haven't had any layoffs.  There's no word when the postal closures could come but Tolliver Gay expects it to be sometime after the holidays.

Those with the Postal Service say Monday was the busiest mailing day as workers processed $839 million pieces of mail.  That's triple what they do in a typical day.  The biggest delivery day should be Wednesday.  If you send your mail first class or priority by December 21st, it should get to its destination in time for Christmas.
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