New Castle News

February 7, 2013

No mail? No problem: Few offices to be affected by Saturday delivery stop

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — If the U.S. Postal Service follows through on halting Saturday mail deliveries, few local businesses will notice.

“It’s not like it used to be,” said Robert Izzo, a certified public accountant with Philip Weiner & Co., which provides accounting, auditing, financial planning and tax preparation services.

Unlike many professionals, Izzo maintains Saturday office hours, from December through April.

At one time, Izzo said, “Saturday was just another day for us. We needed original documents or copies of them to ensure that we had the information to prepare taxes for our clients. Now, with faxes and emails and other forms of electronic communications, waiting for the mailman is not as important as it used to be. We can get the information we need.”

Noting few offices are open on Saturdays these days, he said he will continue to maintain weekend office hours — at least through “tax time” which ends April 15, when taxes are due.

The postal service’s Aug. 1 deadline to end Saturday delivery doesn’t affect him as much as heightened security systems in most buildings on weekends, Izzo said.

“You have to wait for the mailman and unlock the door for him, then lock it again.”

Businesses contacted by The News said they don’t believe they will be affected by no Saturday deliveries.

Sherry Syphard of the Russell B. Canan Insurance Agency on West State Street, does not believe stopping Saturday deliveries will affect her office, which she said has been closed on Saturdays for several years.

“We get a lot of mail each Monday,” she said. “I don’t see that changing.”

D.H. Marketing Concepts Mail Service, which contracts to do bulk mailings for various businesses and companies, does not expect to be affected if the post office doesn’t deliver on Saturdays.

“We’re closed on Saturdays,” said a worker, who would not identify herself.

“We drop our mailings at the post office. They deliver it during the week,” said another employee. “We won’t be affected.”

Frank Hierro, president of Huntington Bank of the Mahoning Valley Region, said branches maintain Saturday hours in Lawrence Village Plaza and Neshannock Township, but the end of Saturday deliveries won’t affect business.

“If we receive a Saturday deposit, it is recorded Monday,” he said, adding weekends do not constitute business days according to the Federal Reserve.

Representatives of other local insurance and law offices and Westminster College agreed.

David Wigley, president of Local 227 of the American Postal Workers Union, said the decision to reduce hours “is an extension of everything else that’s been going on.”

Wigley retired Feb. 1 after almost 30 years with the postal service. He has continued to serve as union president.

Although the Internet and other electronic communication has cut into first class mail delivery, Wigley said, third class and business mail and packages — all generated as a result of the Internet — are up substantially.

“We saw the highest volume of mail in the history of the postal service in 2006,” Wigley said.

Something else that happened that year, he added, was the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. He explained this required the prefunding of retiree obligations 70 years in advance.

“We’re paying retirement benefits for people who aren’t even born yet and don’t work now for the post office.”

Wigley said the money generated by this was not kept in a separate fund for postal retirees. “It was put into the general treasury of the U.S. and artificially reduced the federal deficit.”

“We have been a cash cow,” Wigley said of the postal service. “Congress was looking for money as they saw the deficit rise. They had to do something.”

However, he said, there has been no reimbursement of money overfunded to the post office.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)