Jonesboro postmaster reflects on USPS financial crunch

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The U.S. Postal Service has joined the rank of those in a financial crunch.  Jonesboro Post Master Rob Driskell says they are now looking for ways to solve the problem.  With the advances in technology and electronic bill paying, mailing a letter is become an idea of the past.

Driskell says that there has been a ten percent drop in mail volume since last year.  "In 2009 the average amount per household, per stop was about a dollar forty per stop.  In the next ten years that's going to be reduced by a dollar."

The Postal Service is looking for ways to save money.  One idea is the proposal of closing on Saturday.  The Post Master General is proposing the idea of a five day work week to Congress.  The post office has no control over what Congress is going to do.  The saving would be three billion dollars.  The change only will affect delivery.  It would not change the purchasing of stamps or access to a P.O. Box.

Driskell also mentioned the USPS is one of the only organizations in the world that has pre funded retirement.  He says there is seventy-five billion dollars tied up in pre funding retirement.  If the post office was relieved of the seventy-five billion dollars, it could eliminate the problem.

Locally, Driskell says the post offices are trying to do what they can to bring money in without Congress, "we are wanting to open some kiosks. It is an automated system. A person can come up and buy stamps, mail a parcel, or a money order all by an automated machine."  Also, the post office is sells greeting cards, as well as adding more features to to use through your phone.