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Sep 6, 2011 6:31 PM by Andy Koen

US Postal Service teeters financially

The US Postal Service is projected to lose over $8 billion in revenue this year and on top of that they have an immediate cash flow shortage. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is warning that the postal service may default unless Congress approves a request to keep more than $3 billion in excess payments to retiree benefits due to the government at the end of the month.

Local USPS spokesman Ron Perry is confidence that Congress will work to avoid that situation. "We're optimistic with the fact that they didn't let the debt ceiling default and we'll be delivering mail," he said.

To make up for declining revenue, the postal service is reducing staff, closing more than 3,600 rural post offices and aksing Congress to limit delivery to 5 days a week. Customers should also expect higher prices for stamps and shipping, and with fewer workers to man the counters, longer wait times.

Outside of the General Mail Facility on E. Fountain Boulevard in Colorado Springs, customer Christine Koujababian worries about her relatives who depends on rural post offices.

"They would only deliver mail a couple of days a week and that would be a big problem for all those people who don't use the internet and receive all their bills the old fashioned way," she said.

Ashley Smith says she depends on the post office to ship care packages to her husband who is deployed to Afghanistan. She says it's hard enough to wait in line as is with her two small children.

"It kind of frustrates me because I have two kids but I'm just trying to mail stuff to Afghanistan."

Perry says the post office is asking for patience from customers.

"We're being force to split 15 percent of our routes, minimum, everyday here in Colorado Spring as well as across the country," Perry said. "It's the same with the long lines, when we have a couple of people staffed on our counter, that's part of our budget issue right now."

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