Change coming in postal service

MARSHALL – Starting next week, area residents dropping off mail in the mailboxes outside the Marshall Post Office might want to consider doing so earlier in the day.

Beginning Sept. 7, changes in postal processing for Marshall will affect mail collection times. The last mail collection of the day will be at 2:30 p.m., said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Peter Nowacki.

Currently, the last mail collection is at 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Nowacki said the change is part of a move planned to reduce costs. Mail for ZIP codes starting with 562 will be processed through Minneapolis, instead of through St. Cloud. This affects Marshall, as well as several other area communities.

“We are consolidating those operations into fewer facilities,” Nowacki said.

While he said the move will involve transferring some positions from St. Cloud to Minneapolis and hiring less temporary help, the change wouldn’t mean cuts in full-time postal staff.

However, the new collection times could affect how quickly mail is delivered. For example, a letter placed in one of the Marshall USPS boxes after 2:30 p.m. wouldn’t be collected until the following day.

Notices on the new collection times have been posted on the front of each of the mailboxes outside the Marshall Post Office.

Nowacki said cost reductions are a concern for the Postal Service.

The USPS is supported by the sale of postage, and the volume of first-class mail being sent has declined the past few years.