County leasing mailing machine to replace IPS services for daily mail

County Commissioners unanimously approved a 60-month lease for a mail processing and sorting machine during their Feb. 28 meeting.

The county was notified in mid-January that Innovative Postal Services was closing Feb. 28 and would no longer be able to handle the county’s mail services.

Commissioners met Feb. 3 with the IPS owner and Sandra Merchant, newly elected clerk and recorder, to discuss the county’s mailing options.

County still working on plan for mail services, elections

“With the short notice departure of IPS mail processing and sorting services, Cascade County needs to immediately acquire and establish a replacement mail processing system for Cascade County operations and departments to ensue that its essential mail service requirements are managed with as little disruption as possible despite this significant operational change,” according to the county agenda report.

County officials said there doesn’t appear to be a replacement mail processing and sorting service available in the county.

The county approved a 60-month lease for a Pitney Bowles SendPro C Auto mailing machine, which includes a five-pound scale and label printer.

IPS also handled the county’s election mail.

IPS closing; county considering options for election mailing

Commissioner Joe Briggs told The Electric that the mailing machine they’re leasing, “is used for elections in smaller counties but lacks the volume capacity to be used here for elections. It is intended to handle the daily mail only. The solution for election mailing is still being worked on. We have not received any updates on the election processing from Sandra, but I do know she has been in contact with Advanced Litho.”

Commissioner Jim Larson said, “this is quite a conundrum we ended up with real sudden like,” of IPS closing. “We were scrambling to find ways to fix that problem.”

The machine is recommended for businesses processing 100-plus pieces of mail daily, is equipped with an automatic feeder which can feed 95 letters per minute, an automatic envelope sealer, and provides programming of up to 100 departmental accounts with reporting.

The scale included is interfaced with United States Postal Service domestic and international mail rates, and can “blend in” UPS and FedEx parcel mailing, according to county officials. The machine is also capable of processing certified mail and provides package tracking, according to the county.

The lease is $186 per month, which includes a $20 maintenance fee, $42 meter rental and $124 for the machine and label printer, according to the county.

Additional costs include $152.99 for ink that lasts for about 8,000 imprints; $40 for 300 shipping labels with package tracking and meter tape with about 8 cents per imprint and postage.

Once ordered, the machine will arrive within a week and Kelly Connect will assist with installation and training, according to the county.

At the end of the lease term, the county will have the option to continue the lease on a monthly basis, return or purchase the equipment.

Commissioners said the technological compliance is expected to be five to seven years.