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I-Team: Slow mail impacts local communities

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HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Questions and concerns regarding mail delivery service across our region continues tonight.

Wayne County officials tell Eyewitness News the mail delivery issues are impacting how they do business. They also tell Eyewitness News that the mail delivery is having an impact on businesses in the county that are already facing challenges because of COVID-19.

“So we did have a little bit of a struggle with slow mail service. Like I said earlier I think we got lucky with our local officials. They’re very in top of things,” Native Restaurant owner Caleb Johnson said.

Johnson owns and operates Native Restaurant on Main Street in Honesdale. There was an issue with a Cares Act COVID relief check sent to him by the Wayne County Commissioners.

“It was kind of a waiting game and we were waiting and waiting checking emails. Unfortunately we just weren’t having the checks show up in the mail. So finally we did reach out to the Treasury. They handled it, voided it, and writing a new check,” Johnson said.

Wayne County Commissioners say slow mail service is impacting the delivery of Cares Act COVID relief checks.

“It really was critically important to send that money out as soon as we could. Some of it still had not been received with it being sent out after Columbus Day. So that surprised us it really brought attention to the issue,” Wayne County Commissioner Joe Adams said.

Adams tells the I-Team the mail delivery problems are impacting its operations. For example “We’re getting a lot of our vendors calling the county saying we are late charging us. We had to stop payment on checks and we had to re-issue,” Adams said.

The commissioners sent a letter to federal lawmakers, including Senator Bob Casey, expressing their concerns and seeking answers.

“All we got was a lot of lies and a lot of denials,” Senator Casey said.

Senator Casey tells the I-Team he is investigating the mail service problems.

A spokesperson for the postal service released a statement to the I-Team regarding the delivery concerns, citing record volumes of mail for the holiday as well as challenges created by COVID-19
among the reasons for the delays.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service issued a statement to Eyewitness News:

Mr. Mehalshick,

The 2020 Holiday Season was a record for the United States Postal Service with more than a billion packages delivered.

Shippers across the board were challenged with airlifts and trucking capacity for moving historic volumes, causing temporary pockets of delays. As is our duty, we accepted all volumes and our employees rose to the occasion to deliver for America. This epic volume was also amplified by employee availability challenges and necessary COVID-19 policies designed to keep our employees and our communities safe.

For customers who need to file a claim, they should visit usps.com/claims to determine when and how they can file one. They can also contact customer support at 1-800-ASK-USPS for assistance.

The Postal Service continues to face challenges and has allocated additional resources, including, but not limited to, expanded processing procedures, extra transportation, extra delivery and collection trips, and overtime to process and deliver the mail.

It’s important for your viewers to know that every piece of equipment and every truck is being used every single day. Mail moves into the facility and out of the facility daily. In these unprecedented times, and a year with significant volume increases, we continue to flex our available resources to meet the demand within a finite number of resources available to us.


“It was billed out December 24th mailed to me. I received it today January 20th almost 30 days later. It was due January 15th,” Vinnie Canosa of Honesdale said.

Wayne County residents like Canosa tell the I-Team they just want their mail delivered on time.

“This is ridiculous. The election is over, the holidays are over, they need to get back on track now,” Canosa said.

Sources within the Postal Service tell the I-Team that the problems center around the mail processing centers, not the local post offices. The I-Team reached out again to the Postal Service for comment as well as the union that represents postal workers and we have not yet had a response.

Senator Casey is still pushing for answers and solutions to the slow mail delivery.

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