WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) - The day may come when door-to-door mail delivery will be a thing of the past. There is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would phase most door-to-door delivery out in eight years. U.S Postal Service spokesman Sean Hargadon says the agency needs to find ways to save money. “We’ve lost over 25 billion dollars in the last six years. Last year, we lost 15 billion dollars, so things have been very challenging for us.”
If the Postmaster General has his way, there will be more curbside mailboxes and cluster boxes to serve buildings and neighborhoods.
Hargadon says the U.S. Postal Service was created when the country was started, and it is not easy to change their procedures without Congressional involvement. “We’re in an interesting position because the Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars. All of our revenue comes from the sale of products and services, but at the same time, there are certain things we need to follow according to Congress. That’s how it’s been stated for many years, the beginning of the country actually. There are certain things we can do and certain things we cannot do without Congressional approval.”
Hargadon says the overall volume of mail has declined in the past several years, but the issues are the same. “With total mail volume declining more than 53 billion pieces, from our all-time high in 2006 of 213 billion pieces, you still have to deliver the mail at every address, so there are savings to be had when you change the mode of delivery.”
The Postmaster General has been pushing for comprehensive postal legislation to authorize several changes. They are working with Congressman Darrell Issa from California, who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The plan could affect over thirty million addresses nationwide that presently have door-to-door mail delivery. It does have critics, including Congressman Steven Lynch from Massachusetts.
One central Wisconsin Postmaster who declined to be identified says he’s hoping any proposed change includes the language, “where practical” so local officials can determine what is most efficient in individual neighborhoods.