Collins critical of plan for slower mail deliveries in Maine

Posted June 22, 2012, at 1:39 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is expressing frustration with the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement this week that First Class mail deliveries to some parts of Maine that used to take one day will soon take two or three.

The Postal Service is changing its service standards beginning July 1. Tom Rizzo, USPS spokesman for the Northern New England District, said delivery times are being changed as fewer people use the mail and the Postal Service tries to save money. The USPS is projected to run a $14 billion deficit this year.

The change will mean fewer trucks and fewer trips between Maine’s two processing locations.

“In May, the Postmaster General announced his decision to abide by the service standards established by the Senate-passed postal reform bill that I co-authored,” Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement Thursday night. “The result was that both of Maine’s processing plants — in Hampden and Scarborough — were deemed essential and will remain open. There will be no change in the processing infrastructure in Maine until at least February 2014.

“It is, therefore, difficult to understand why the Postal Service’s elimination of a few truck routes would create such a marked deterioration in service for some of the residents of our state,” Collins added.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported that now, a First Class letter mailed in Portland arrives in Aroostook County the next day. But after July 1 it could take longer.

But one-day delivery within certain groups of ZIP codes will still take a day after the change takes effect.

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