Luzerne County will save an estimated $30,000 this year by hiring an outside contractor to pick up, sort and send its mail instead of dropping it off directly at the post office, officials announced Monday.
The county’s only new expense is a $50-per-month payment to the contractor for transportation costs to collect the county’s bins of mail daily, which will amount to $1,500 over the length of the contract running from June 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, acting county Manager C. David Pedri said.
The county will continue paying for its own postage but will receive a discounted rate provided by the United States Postal Service for presorted mail.
The county’s contractor, Reading-based Mailroom Systems, Inc., which specializes in presorting, has projected the county will save at least 10 percent in postage costs, Pedri said.
The county budgeted $659,514 for postage countywide this year, or $329,757 for half the year, which would peg the savings around $33,000, Pedri said.
Mailroom Systems receives this discount because it reduces the work that must be completed by the U.S. Postal Service, Pedri said.
The contractor also will verify mailing addresses in its database for the county’s outgoing mail before it goes out, said county 911 Executive Director Fred Rosencrans, who was involved in the contract.
If an address is flagged as invalid, the contractor will alert the county so the address can be researched and corrected, he said. This will prevent the time and expense of mail that is bounced back as “return to sender,” he said.
“This will be very beneficial because some offices send out legal notifications, tax bills and other documents that are time-sensitive,” Rosencrans said.
Under the new contract, all mail will be processed within 12 hours of receipt, which is a “major upgrade,” Pedri said.
The contract was awarded through a public request coordinated by Purchasing Director Mark Zulkoski, who should be “commended for his hard work and insight,” Pedri told the county council.
“As you know, one area of county government that we consistently discuss is the need to continue to strive to locate new and different cost savings and efficiency measures to better our government,” Pedri wrote.
Several local colleges, universities and medical facilities that have high mail volumes have contracted with Mailroom Systems, he said.