Iowans who are used to their mail being delivered by a certain person about the same time every day may soon have to endure changes.
The U.S. Postal Service is restructuring its routes for some 1,800 letter carriers statewide to make them more efficient. Cedar Rapids Postmaster Paula Prochazka is heading up the effort.
Prochazka says: "As with any business in these economic times, our volume is declining and we’re trying to right-size those routes, based on, so we have an eight-hour a day assignment, we don’t have some that are seven hours or some that are nine hours and the idea is to maximize our resources."
Some routes have already been changed while others will be altered over the next several weeks. She says the goal is to keep mail affordable and to provide excellent service to the customers — but for some Iowans, that’ll mean a change in the routine.
"Obviously, we all want everybody to get their mail first but that’s not how the system works," Prochazka says. "Somebody does get their mail early, some get it in the afternoon, however they may very well see a change in time or a change in carrier." She says some Iowans are already inquiring about what happened to their familiar letter carriers.
"Their families have grown up and our carriers have been on those routes for sometimes 20 or 30 years and they’ve grown accustomed to the same individuals delivering their mail," Prochazka says. "They have confidence in that individual. They know what time they’re coming, but they could see a change in that. We’re going to try to minimize that to the extent possible." The route restructuring in Iowa is part of a nationwide effort.