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Crossroads residents weigh in on postal service's 5-day delivery decision

By BY JESSICA PRIEST - JPRIEST@VICAD.COM
Feb. 6, 2013 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:07 p.m.

Elaine Pavlicek

Victoria post office Saturday hours

• 2804 Sam Houston Drive

9 a.m.-noon

361-575-5611

• 312 S. Main St.

Closed

361-575-2365

Crossroads residents had mixed reactions Wednesday to the U.S. Postal Service's plan to tighten its belt.

Effective on Aug. 5, the financially-strapped agency will end street address delivery of mail, such as letters, magazines and bills on Saturdays.

Package delivery, which has increased by 14 percent since 2010, will continue to be delivered to residents six days a week. And the post offices that already have weekend business hours will remain open, officials said.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who chairs a subcommittee dealing with the federal workforce, said the change will not affect the delivery of critical items, such as mail-order medicine.

"This $2 billion a year savings will ensure that taxpayers are not left footing the bill in the future," Farenthold said in a news release.

Elaine Pavlicek, 55, worried she might miss bills by the measure.

"I don't like it. It might slow service down," the Moulton resident said.

Pavlicek didn't have any idea how else the postal service could remain solvent.

"I don't want anyone to lose their job though," she said.

Ted Theilig, a 73-year-old Victoria County resident, was also initially "not impressed."

He was at Victoria's Main Street post office about 2 p.m. Wednesday to get a passport.

"I would prefer to have Saturday delivery, but I could deal with it," he said.

Others simply never saw the point of six-day deliveries.

"It doesn't matter to me," said Jimmy Tang, who was also at the Main Street post office on business.

He said when he orders something online nowadays, it comes by UPS or FedEx.

"Maybe they can learn from them how to run a business," Tang said.

Congressional action was not needed for Wednesday's decision, said Meaghan Cronin, Farenthold's communication director.

In addition, the postal service would like Congress to relax the 2006 restriction that it pre-fund its employees' retiree health benefits up to the year 2075, said Sam Bolen, a postal spokesman for the Rio Grande region. That adds $5.5 billion annually to the postal service's budget.

Layoff and post office closures are not anticipated because of the change, Bolen said. Post office closings ended in May. The postal service has decided to adjust hours of operation instead.

He said the postal service survives only on the items it sells, such as forever stamps, which were bumped from 45 to 46 cents on Jan. 27.

The Victoria post offices employ some 100 people, Victoria Postmaster Ken Epley said.

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