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The rush is on!


Monday's mail brings upwards of 700,000 pieces of mail to area processing, distribution center in Flint



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December 19, 2007
TRI-CITY AREA — They may have tackled the busiest day of the year, but area postal workers aren't yet breathing a sigh of relief.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the Flint processing and distribution center—where most Tri-City area mail passes through—processed almost 700,000 cards and letters on Monday. Some 35,000 packages and other mail made its way through the facility. USPS officials say that's triple the average volume during the rest of the year.

That doesn't surprise Imlay City Postmaster Sandy Berger. The holidays always bring a flood of increased activity to their already busy—and somewhat cramped—customer service lobby.

"It's awfully busy right now," Berger says. "The volume increases quite a bit, but we handle it."

Handle it, they do. The staff isn't bolstered by temporary workers during the holiday season—the regular staff steps up the pace to deal with the increased workload.

Their job is made easier, Berger says, if customers are prepared for their transactions and are familiar with USPS guidelines.

"We've been having a little trouble with people re-using boxes," Berger says.

The problem is boxes that carry logos or emblems from manufacturers—such as liquor or beer or household cleaners that the items were once shipped in—won't make it through the postal system. Regulations do not allow it, Berger says.

"It's best to just use a plain box with nothing on it, or if you have to go with a used box cut it and turn it inside out and then use it," Berger says.

Some mailing supplies are available at the post office, including boxes up to 20" x 20", priority mail packs, and more.

Customers should also have labels clearly addressed in legible handwriting already affixed to the boxes. Postal workers do not fill out labels, Berger adds.

"We have a small lobby and there's not a lot of room for anyone to prepare things so it's best if it's just done in advance," she says.

With a steady stream of customers over the past week or so, Berger anticipates they'll experience a continued increase in activity right up until Christmas Eve.

"A lot of customers go out of town for the holidays so then it slows down a bit," Berger says.

According to the USPS, the mailing deadline is near for customers who want their cards and packages to make their destination in time for Christmas. First class and/or priority mail should be postmarked by tomorrow (Thurs., Dec. 20) and express mail sent on or before Dec. 22.

The Imlay City Post office will close at noon on Christmas Eve, Mon., Dec. 24.

For more information about USPS guidelines, goods and services visit www.usps.com

Castle Creek
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