Brookings residents will have to change their mail schedules come May 1. The United States Postal Service is eliminating the 3 p.m. outgoing mail pickup and removing four blue collection boxes from city locations.
The blue boxes, including those at Fred Meyer, Ray's and Rite Aid in Harbor, are being removed. The only remaining boxes will be those at local post offices and at Brookings City Hall.
Also, there will no longer be a 3 p.m. mail pickup in Brookings, and outgoing mail will leave the post office by 11 a.m. Post offices are located in Brookings at 711 Spruce St. and in Harbor at 97900 Shopping Center Ave.
According to Peter Hass, spokesman for the USPS, they are making the changes because of a 25 percent nationwide decrease in mail volume in the last five years. Online bill pay, electronic devices to connect with one another and email are culprits to the decrease.
"Collection times are being looked at around the country and around Oregon in particular," Hass said. "It's obviously because we are losing quite a bit of mail volume so we basically need to make some adjustments to be more efficient to reduce our costs."
Mike Roberts, owner of Village Express, a package delivery store at 855 Railroad St. in Brookings, utilizes the postal service as part of daily business. He said that this will affect how he conducts business with the USPS.
"For any business it is a hassle because you haven't gotten any work done (by 11 a.m.)," Roberts said. "Anybody that comes in after that won't get mail out until the next day."
Joe Willett, a Brookings resident, said, "This is a hardship for people with disabilities. A handicapped person is going to shop at Fred Meyer and they don't have to make a special trip to the post office." Starting in May, Willett knows a special trip is the only option.
According to Hass, the USPS has not received taxpayer money since 1982. Trying to maintain a self-sufficient business, the USPS is making changes nationwide.
"We are to be self-sufficient, that is our mandate, while providing universal service. The issue becomes 'How do we find ways to adjust to the changing mail habits of the American public and continue to provide service?" Hass said.
Hass will not comment about the proposed changes to Saturday delivery, but he said that the postmaster general has announced that changes could be upcoming.
"Right now it is just a discussion period," Hass said. "The announcement that was made a couple months ago by the postmaster general was that we are going to move to a six day parcel delivery and a five day mail delivery schedule, so parcel packages would still be delivered on Saturdays under the proposal that he made; and other mail, envelopes, magazines, those types of things, would be on a five day delivery schedule."
Notices are posted on the blue boxes that are being removed and the Brookings post office has signs alerting residents of the change in pickup times.
Gold Beach is also making changes to their mail pickup schedules. There will no longer be a 3:30 p.m. outgoing mail collection and the blue box located in town at the McKays parking lot will also be removed. The post office is located at 29917 Harbor Way in Gold Beach, and residents need to have mail there by 11:30 a.m. for their mail to make it out that day.