2-cent stamps scarce following postage rate hike

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
Customers wanting to buy 2-cent stamps due to this week's postage increase were given 1-cent stamps in Russellville yesterday because the Post Office ran out.
However, the Russellville Post Office will be fully stocked with 1-cent stamps by this morning.
"We went through 14,000 2-cent stamps in a day and a half," Russellville Postal Supervisor Kelly Culpepper said.
The Postal Service did not anticipate such a demand for the 2-cent stamps in Russellville, but 20,000 more stamps were scheduled to be delivered to the Post Office last night.
"We ran out about 11 a.m. yesterday, but all it took was one phone call to get the stamps over night," Culpepper said.
The new first-class postage rate of 41 cents took affect Monday morning, which Culpepper said evened out the postal rates with deliver costs.
"We are charging the customers what it costs us to deliver a letter," Culpepper said. "The Postal Service could not continue to lose money."
Russellville's Post Office delivered over 6,000 pieces of mail Monday alone. Each piece had to be sorted prior to delivery unless it is presorted by the machine in Huntsville. All the extra work adds to labor cost, and the extra mail adds to gas cost for the Postal Service.
"When gas goes up a penny, people don't realize that it cost the Postal Service millions of dollars per day," Russellville's Postmaster Earl Wilcher said.
The United States Postal Service is operated like a business and has not been apart of the U.S. Government since the last 1970s, Wilcher added.
Culpepper has heard many customers tell her about when postage was less than a dime, but she acknowledges that the cost of living is rapidly increasing and the Postal Service is not immune to the increases.

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