Selma shuffling mail routes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The slow economy has come right to the mailbox.

Following a recent evaluation by the U.S. Postal Service, the number of city routes in Selma has been reduced from 19 to 17, according to Jackie Hughley, delivery supervisor at Selma’s post office.

“With declining mail volume, the postal service felt workload had reduced,” Hughley said.

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No jobs will be lost due to the changes. When the last two postal carriers retired, their routes were absorbed into the other 17.

Prior to the shifting of the routes, a carrier could deliver his entire route in six hours. Because postal workers work an eight-hour day, two hours of the route next to his would be taken and added to his route.

The carrier on that next route then would have his original route reduced by two hours. Then, hours from the route on the other side of his would be taken to fill out his original route.

This, explained Hughley, enabled the two routes that were cut out to be merged with the 17 others.

But, she added, people are upset that their mail delivery times have changed.

For some people, their mail is arriving earlier. For others, it’s arriving later.

“The public does not think that the postman does an eight-hour shift,” Hughley said. “They think the mail should get here between 9 a.m. and noon.”

Most carriers work from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and not everyone can be first on the mail route. Hughley said that carriers do not have any control over where the route begins or ends.

One of the postive changes is that with the route shifting, areas that had been serviced by a numer of different carriers &045;&045; like some parts of downtown Selma &045;&045; now have one carrier.