Idyllwild Postmaster Kelly Gates at her front counter. Photo by Marshall Smith
Idyllwild’s Saturday postal service will remain unaffected despite last week’s U.S. Postal Service announcement of plans to discontinue Saturday mail delivery beginning Saturday, Aug. 5, 2013.

Mail will still be placed in Hill post office boxes on Saturday, said Idyllwild Postmaster Kelly Gates. As with the rest of the country, package delivery will also still be available on Saturdays.

Ending Saturday mail delivery will save money by eliminating letter carrier rounds on Saturday after the August closure implementation. “Idyllwild is what is called a post office box retail outlet,” Gates said. No letter carrier delivery occurs on any day. “So our Saturday delivery will be unaffected,” she emphasized.

Saturday delivery of mail by letter carriers has twice been suspended in the past — in 1947 in some cities and nationwide in 1957, both times because of budget issues.

Also as part of its cost savings plans, the U.S. Postal Service has announced it would close a number of its processing plants and reduce hours and staff at some smaller outlets. Don Smeraldi, manager corporate communication for the USPS Pacific Region, said that there are no scheduled hours or staff reductions planned for any Southern California post offices. That includes Idyllwild. Smeraldi said the only drawdowns planned are in Northern California.

So, Idyllwild Post Office is not in danger of being closed under the USPS budget measures and Saturday mail delivery to post office boxes will continue uninterrupted after Aug. 5. One change, said Smeraldi, is that mail deposited on Saturday at the Idyllwild Post Office would not go out until the following Monday.