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Post Office cutting back



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Like other Lake Orion mail carriers, Dan Boutell has recently taken on a different route. The changes are a part of the Post Office's money-saving efforts. Photo by Megan (Hess) Collier.
September 23, 2009 - Residents may have already noticed different mail carriers and fewer collection boxes around town.

The changes are part of money-saving strategies by the Lake Orion Post Office to streamline expenses while maintaining services, according to Postmaster Ted Banks.

He noted the changes are due to "the economic downtown and the reduction in mail volume."

"The Lake Orion Post Office is a victim of that, Banks said. "We're just looking at reorganizing in order to maintain as efficient an operation as possible while managing cost structure like any business would. I can certainly tell you that Lake Orion is not the only office that is going about this, though we might be ahead of the curve."

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The postmaster said several collection mailboxes were eliminated in the village and township after careful examination of use over a two-month timeframe.

Boxes had to have averaged 50 pieces of mail or more per day in order to be considered cost-effective. Banks said none of those removed ever reached that threshold.

"I was concerned because we don't have that many boxes in Lake Orion," Banks said. "But the fact remained that we've got to do what we can to be efficient as possible."

Banks reminds residents that they can leave outgoing mail in their own mailboxes for carriers to pick up as well as drop it off at the post office.

The post office also reorganized carriers' routes in an effort to reduce costs further.

"We are moving quickly to adjust carrier routes in response to reduced mail volume, which is a side effect of a sluggish economy," Banks said.

He added that delivery times may change for some customers because of the changes.

"But [these] changes will make us more efficient, and that's a good thing for the postal service and our customers."

Over the summer, the post office also reduced hours of operation to cut costs, though hours have since returned to normal.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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