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The United States Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would cancel plans to halt Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

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Postal Service to continue Saturday delivery

Published 10:28am Thursday, April 11, 2013

The United States Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would cancel plans to halt Saturday mail delivery beginning in August.

The change in course comes after Congress passed a short-term budget to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year that includes language requiring six days of mail delivery.

“The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the board said in the statement released on Wednesday. “The board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.”

In February, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said the USPS would halt Saturday mail delivery in an effort to save the agency $2 billion a year.

The Postal Service lost approximately $15.9 billion last year.

While the USPS will continue to deliver mail on Saturdays for now, it has not completely scrapped its plan to move to a five-day delivery schedule.

“The board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule,” the group said in the statement. “Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. … Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable.”

The plan to move to eliminate Saturday delivery would only affect first-class mail, while packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays.

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