Selmians resigned to rising price of stamps

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

It’s a move that’s likely to cause resentment among many local residents, but the United States Postal Service says it has no choice, according to Jackie Hughey, carrier supervisor for the Selma Post Office.

Today the price of stamps officially goes up to 37 cents, a 3-cent raise. Hughey said the move has already caused some grumbling among local residents.

“Yes, we have already gotten a number of phone calls about it,” Hughey said, “but it’s something that we just have to do.”

Hughey attributes the raise to several factors, the main one being that mail volume has been dropping steadily in recent years.

“With the volume dropping as much as it has, the U.S. Postal service had to cut 12,000 jobs last year,” she said. “And this year, they are expecting to lose at least 10,000 more.”

The Selma Post Office has also been affected by the drop in volume, she said, going from 18 full mail routes to 16 full routes this year.

“By absorbing two routes it will cut down on the amount of time for our workers, which will save us more money in the end,” she said.

To cut costs even further at the post office, Hughey encouraged residents to use curbside delivery, if they are able to do. Curbside delivery is where residents deposit mail in their own personally owned mailboxes.

“Since it’s right there, it saves the post office a lot of time, when they come to pick up mail,” she said.

“This just makes it a lot more cost-effective” for the post office, she said.

Despite the doom and gloom from some local residents, said Hughey, there is still a sunny side to the situation.

She noted that the United States is still one of the cheapest places in the world to send mail.

“The price of a stamp in Japan is 74 cents, while the price of a stamp in Switzerland is 52 cents,” she said. She noted that both countries have far less land area than the United States.

“Really, compared to other places we really don’t have that much to complain about,” she said.

Hughey said people who wish to purchase 37-cent stamps or 3-cent stamps, known as make-up stamps, to add to their 34-cent stamps can do so at the post office during regular office hours.