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Carlisle

Carlisle post office tells borough residents they can pick up mail as staffing struggles continue

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The pace of your mail delivery could start slowing down Friday.That's when the U.S. Postal Service starts implementing its new service standards.The changes include cuts to post office hours and longer delivery times for certain types of mail.For instance, it'll now take longer to receive mail from across the country. But 60 percent of first-class mail, such as small and lightweight envelopes and parcels, should still only take 2 days to arrive so long as it's being sent within the same region.

Carlisle’s post office is still experiencing staffing struggles, according to a statement from the Carlisle postmaster provided to the borough, and residents can arrange to pick up their mail in-person.

Area residents and businesses continue to report intervals of up to a week between deliveries from the U.S. Postal Service, an issue resulting from what the USPS says is difficulty hiring.

“Due to several factors, employee availability has impacted our delivery operations,” the postmaster said in the notice published on the borough website.

The Carlisle office is “currently undertaking efforts to bring on additional resources to address this situation” and “will continue to monitor daily performance and ensure that mail delivery is returned to normal as soon as possible. Our office is doing everything it can to resume normal delivery with limited staff.”

If residents wish to pick up their mail in-person at the Carlisle office, they should email their name and address to 17013CarlislePA@usps.gov and bring a photo ID with them when they arrive for pickup.

Jeff Wood, owner of Whistlestop Bookshop and one of the downtown business operators who began raising the alarm about mail issues several weeks ago, said not much has changed. Wood received mail Thursday after a week of none, he said.

“Our carrier went out of his way because we had not received any,” Wood said.

The fear among businesses is that having residents pick up mail will shift the manpower shortage from delivery routes to the post office itself.

“The problem is still that they just don’t have enough people,” Wood said.

Multiple residents from Carlisle and North Middleton Township have also contacted The Sentinel about delays. One resident, who lives in one of the borough’s largest apartment complexes, said he received mail Thursday for the first time in several days, with letters postmarked from Oct. 4.

USPS has scheduled a job fair at the Carlisle Post Office at 66 W. Louther St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 to fill positions of city carrier assistants, rural carrier associates, mail handler assistants, postal support employees, assistant rural carrier, mail processing clerks and mail handler assistants.

Mail-in ballots

With the possibility of mail delays, state elections officials have reminded voters that they can apply for, receive, complete, and return a mail-in ballot in one stop at local elections office without actually going through the postal system.

Ballots received through the mail should be mailed back as swiftly as possible, and can also be returned in person. Cumberland County also reminded residents this week to be sure to affix the proper postage to their ballots if they are returning them by mail.

“In 2020, the first year for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, the postage was pre-paid by the Pennsylvania Department of State,” Cumberland County Bureau of Elections Director Bethany Salzarulo said in a press release Thursday. “This year voters must affix proper postage when returning ballots by mail.”

The county election bureau is at 1601 Ritner Highway. Voters can track the status of their vote-by-mail ballot at www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/ballottracking.aspx.

Email Zack at zhoopes@cumberlink.com.

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