In the last two years, four mail processing centers - in Miles City, Butte, Helena and Kalispell - have been closed and consolidated with centers in Billings, Great Falls and Missoula. It's part of a nationwide effort to cut expenses at the postal service, which is bleeding money by the billions.
Great Falls postmaster Steve Hurd says he's seen more changes in the postal service in the last five years than in all 37 years of his career. Those changes are driven in large part because more and more customers are going online to communicate and do their business. The postal service hopes Congress will give them the go-ahead to make even more drastic cost-cutting moves, that could include the loss of Saturday first-class mail delivery.
Besides heading the Great Falls post office, postmaster Steve Hurd also oversees all seven of Montana's large post offices. In this feature interview, Hurd talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the postal service's budget problems - and potential solutions.