Starting last September, Redwood Gazette staff noticed something interesting about the way our issues are delivered.
All of a sudden, entire towns in the county weren’t getting their Gazettes delivered on the correct day.
Other readers throughout the county were getting their Gazettes delivered anywhere from one to five days late.
We learned of it from the many, many phone calls we got from readers complaining. We hadn’t changed our procedures one bit, and neither had the printing plant we use in Madelia, so Gazette staff investigated.
It turned out the U.S. Postal Service office based in the Twin Cities had changed some of its procedures affecting smaller towns.
The most noticeable change for local residents was that the daily collection time at the local post office switched from 5:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Other than a notice pasted on the mail collection booths in front of the post office, local residents weren’t given any warning or explanation for the change. They just noticed items they mailed from the Redwood Falls post office weren’t necessarily getting where they were supposed to go on time.
On Oct. 31, editor Troy Krause wrote a column expressing the staff’s frustrations with the problem, and pointed the finger at the postal service.
In response, the Gazette was visited last week by Redwood Falls Postmaster Darial Klabunde, and by Marty Brumbaugh, manager of Post Office operations in St. Cloud.
Both were apologetic, and explained the latest changes they have made in how the Gazette is distributed and delivered once it leaves the printing plant. Hopefully you will be getting your Gazette on the correct day from now on.
The changes affect more than the Gazette, of course, and Brumbaugh explained how all mail service in Redwood is potentially affected.
Brumbaugh said, “Redwood’s mail used to go from Redwood to Willmar to St. Cloud.
“With the closure of the St. Cloud center, starting Sept. 7 all mail (starting with ZIP codes 562.., 563.., and 564...) is going to Minneapolis to be broken down and sorted.
“That is about a three hour difference, so the trucks carrying outgoing mail have to leave at 2:30 p.m.”
In other words, if you want a package or letter to be delivered by a certain day, you need to make sure it gets to the Redwood Falls post office earlier in the day.
Klabunde added that office hours at the Redwood Falls post office have not changed. Mail will still be accepted at the front desk until 5 p.m., but any dropped off after 2:30 p.m. will be sent the following day.
As for the rest, “if you follow what’s written on the blue boxes, it will still go out that day,” said Klabunde.