Athens Letter Carrier Considers Impact Of Five-Day Delivery Week

Christa Lamendola

Updated Tue, Mar 26, 2013 7:14 am

An Athens letter carrier is joining other postal workers from across the state to express his opposition to the United States Postal Service's recent decision to cut Saturday mail delivery in the fall.

Charles Rose, who delivers mail in Athens, lined up with more than 50 other postal workers in front of the Ohio Statehouse Sunday to protest the new plan.

Just like many of the pets on his route in Athens, Rose is known as the watchdog for the community, and he has the nose to prove it.

"I've always had a very sensitive nose and it's just a situation where it's come in handy especially when you smell something that shouldn't be there." he said.

In 2009, Rose found one of those situations at a house on his route.

"When I opened the storm door that day the odor of the natural gas was very strong," he said.

After smelling the problem, Rose left a note of warning about the gas in the owners mail, but little did he know the note would save a life.

The next day, Rose received a note back.

"The rest of the note states, 'We've got a serious gas leak here,'" he said.

The leak was so serious that a lighted match would have caused the home to explode.

Since then, Rose has sniffed out 16 natural gas leaks in the community, and the gas company responsible for the leaks has replaced 1,700 feet of gas pipeline in east side of Athens.

Rose, who has been honored as a national hero for his efforts, said that cutting down that extra day of mail delivery would also cut away some much needed eyes on the community.

"The American people need to realize that we don't just deliver their mail. We sometimes come across life saving situations," he said.

The U.S. Postal Service has said that transitioning to a five-day week of mail delivery is necessary to deal with the $16 billion loss from last year.

If Saturday mail delivery is eliminated in September, an estimated 20,000 letter carriers will lose their jobs.