SHERMAN -- Starting May 14th, postage rates will be on the rise again. But this time, it’s affecting more than just the pocket book.
Postal Service officials say its one of the most affordable increases in the last ten years, but Grayson County officials say that the increase is causing them to upgrade their mail sorting equipment, which will not be cheap.
Just last year, postage rates went up from 37 cents to 39 cents. But this year’s increase is taking into effect not only the weight of a mail item, but also the size, which is what’s causing headaches at the courthouse.
Grayson County purchasing agent Jeff Schneider was informed two days ago about the postage rate increase coming up on May 14th.
"It took me by total surprise that the post office is changing their whole system of sending mail," said Schneider.
It’s news which he says could be potentially disastrous for the county.
"The one thing we don’t want happen is a lot of mail that gets out into the process and a week later it comes back because of a last of postage."
Right now Schneider says the county's mail sorting machine takes into account the weight of mail, but the new system puts less emphasis on weight and takes into account the size of the item.
"When you look at it, two cents isn't a lot ask our rate payers to pay."
For a two ounce letter envelope, postage will cost 58 cents.
But for a flat at the same weight, it will now cost 97 cents, as opposed to the sixty three cents it costs now.
USPS officials say the rates are determined on whether or not they are able to break even and on usage.
"Where by one goes up, the other goes down, and it’s determined by usage of our rate players."
The increase means Grayson County will now upgrade their equipment to take into account the size of a piece of mail.
Schneider says it will cost $135 a month for the new equipment, causing them to utilize the Internet to acquire bids.
"This will cause us to further develop that and direct people to download rather than using the postal service."
Grayson County commissioners are expected to talk about the new equipment at an upcoming meeting.
The postage increase will take effect on May 14th.
Postage will increase from 39 cents to 41 cents for a standard letter.
The increase is expected to affect government offices and business all over the area.
In Bryan County, officials say individual department heads will try and stay within their allotted budget for the rest of the fiscal year.
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