PRESTONSBURG — Local reaction to news that the U.S. Postal Service would soon end most mail delivery on Saturdays, ran the gamut from positive to negative.
The postal service announced Wednesday an end to Saturday home delivery of most types of mail. Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and the postal service will continue to home-deliver packages and prescriptions on Saturdays, but general home delivery of mail will end.
Prestonsburg Postmaster David Petrey declined to comment on the announcement, except to say he thinks the change is “necessary.”
“It’s a necessary step, as long as Congress won’t do anything,” Petrey said.
Bryan Lee, of Prestonsburg, did not find the news troubling at all.
“I think it’s a good idea, because some people actually like to purchase stuff online, but there’s other people that still like to visit the post office,” Lee said. “They like to talk with the employees and they like to hand-deliver their own mail. It doesn’t really have an effect on me, but there’s some people out there that think it’s not the right idea at the time. Just the way the economy is, it’s tough to do that, but there are times when you have to make choices.”
Christine Blair, who lives on Lancer-Watergap Road, said the change wouldn’t make much difference to her.
“It probably won’t have any effect on me, because I can come any day of the week, but it probably will have an effect on some people that work and stuff, who don’t have any other day to do to their post office business,” Blair said.
She added that the move could have probably been expected, given the tough economic climate.
“They’re probably trying to cut back, like everybody else,” Blair said.
Tom Skeens, of Prestonsburg, said he does not like the news.
“I wish they’d continue delivering it on Saturday and not close,” Skeens said.
Kitty Hazler said she is “flexible” and didn’t see the end of Saturday delivery having much effect on her, but she still disliked the change. However, she blamed the need for the move on the additional demands the postal service must operate under.
“I think they’re doing what they need to do,” Hazler said. “The fact that the government asked them to pay so far in advance for retirement benefits and so on is ludicrous.
“It’s not going to be good … We’re not going to be as happy about it.”
Alvis Scott, of Prestonsburg, agreed that the retirement demands on the postal service were a likely culprit for the agency’s financial troubles, but he pinned the blame squarely on one political party.
“I think it’s probably the Republican Party’s fault,” Scott said. “They’ve tried to make the post office fund their retirement for 75 years in advance. What for? So they can take that money and spend it someplace else, on what they want.”
Scott said he sees the problems with the postal service as symptomatic of much bigger problems in Washington.
“I’m a retired veteran, and the past 20 years, I’ve seen this country go downhill,” Scott said. “That’s all it has been doing. If they don’t stop all this fighting in Congress and Washington, we ain’t going to have any country left.”