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Last chance for stamps at 44 cents

 

Residents only have a few more hours to take advantage of the Forever stamps at the current 44-cent price, because come tomorrow, that price increases by a penny.

The cost to send a first-class letter will increase to 45 cents for the first ounce, but Forever stamps will be honored, Post Office officials said.

“This is the first price change in more than two and a half years,” said USPS spokeswoman Debra Fetterly.

The last first-class postage increase came in May 2009 when stamps increased 2 cents to 44 cents.

Come next week, a book of stamps will cost $9, and a roll of 100 will be $45.

Still, the cost of additional ounces will remain 20 cents for first-class.

“The overall price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing, we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.”

Other increases include:

• A 3-cent increase for postcards to 32 cents;

• A 5-cent increase for letters to Canada and Mexico at 85 cents;

• A 7-cent increase for letters to other international destinations to $1.05.

Additionally, customers will be able to ship a box for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for ­­one price, regardless of weight up to 70 pounds, Fetterly said. It will cost $39.95. For smaller items, there will be an $18.95 charge.

Major changes will also be implemented for the Express Mail refund policy.

“For Express Mail sent on or after Jan. 22, customers requesting a postage refund for a service failure must submit that application within 30 days of the mailing date,” Fetterly said. “Previously, a mailer could request a postage refund for an Express Mail service failure up to 90 days after the mailing date.”

Additionally, there are no certain destinations where Express Mail postage refunds will not be available with a money-back guarantee, Fetterly said.

These locations are Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

“For these destinations, Express Mail postage refunds will be available only for losses,” she said.

The Andalusia Post Office is open from 9 a.m. until noon today.