INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's the end of an era for the U.S. Postal Service. After 150 years, the agency says it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays.
The Postal Service has struggled to cut costs to keep up with a congressional mandate from 2006.
It requires the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. Now, the new changes will start in six months – on Aug. 5.
The Postal Service says this should save $2 billion a year. It will affect 22,500 jobs, but the agency says it won't have to lay anyone off.
Instead, they're looking at buy-outs, eliminating overtime, and relying more on their part-time employees.
The decision to end Saturday mail service doesn't mean post offices will be closed for the weekend.
The Postal Service will continue to deliver packages on Saturdays and post offices will keep their current Saturday hours. Those who have a post office box will continue to get mail on Saturdays.
With the postal service looking to close a $20 billion budget and loan gap, the Postmaster General called cutting back mail delivery to five days a week
"The responsible thing to do," said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.
ONLINE EXTRA | How will the changes affect you?
"I think it's unfortunate that something that has been around for such a long time, and has been so dependable, is having to go away. Obviously there is some cost issues they are having to address," said customer Carla Oehrle.
Local Postal Union leader William Wright says it is too early to tell what the real fallout will be.
"I think it will affect Indianapolis postal workers in a way that off days may change. Normally we have people in 24/7. A lot of those things may be changing," said local APWU leader William Wright. "Things will change as far as the delivery as far as the transportation and the city carriers."
Post Office customers who knew about the August plans said they understood the need to save money but they didn't like it.
"I think it's kind of sad because the Post Office is history and now history is going to be reduced," said customer Gurline Jones.
A hospital spokesman says a student is in critical condition after reports of a shooting at a school in suburban Denver.
The threat of heavy weekend snow has prompted Gov. Mike Pence's office to cancel Saturday's portion of Indiana's "Christmas at the Capitol" event.
Police have made two arrests after a fatal carjacking on Dec. 1.