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Stamps to go up to 37 cents beginning June 30

In less than three weeks, sending mail will become more costly.

Effective June 30, the U.S. Postal Service will enact a three-cent increase in the cost of mailing a letter. The cost for other post office services will be increased as well.

"The cost of business has gone up," said Melody Rurik, a communications specialist with the USPS Columbus district.

She said the main reasons why the rates have increased are rising fuel, labor and operating costs, the recent economic downturn, and declining mail volume. The increase was proposed Sept. 10, so the rates did not increase because of security concerns, Rurik said.

Health insurance costs for postal employees and gas prices have increased, Rurik said. Also, some employees have received pay raises.

"This time, it’s just gone so smoothly," said Postmistress Earlene Meadows of the Willow Wood Post Office. "This is the easiest rate increase I’ve ever gone through."

She added she was surprised because this is one of the largest rate increases the post office has ever enacted, but more people support the government because of September 11.

Jack Reed, carrier supervisor for the Ironton Post Office said the increase is larger than to what postal workers are accustomed. However, he said hasn’t known of any of his customers expressing dissatisfaction.

However, at least one Lawrence County resident is not happy about the increase.

"I think it’s just getting out of hand, and we won’t be able to mail anything," said Rebecca Wilson, an Aid resident. She said not only does she use the mail quite a bit, but her church mails bills, bulletins, and cards.

Rurik said that because of inflation, the cost of mailing a letter is lower than what it was in 1970, and that the United States has the cheapest postage than any of the world’s industrialized nations.

Postmaster Dave Manring of the South Point Post Office added that new stamps are available now, and he encourages people to pick them up ahead of time to avoid a rush at the end of the month. Amelia A. Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune