A few months ago, I read a letter to the editor entitled, “Seymour Don’t Stop at The Sevier County Line.” The writer expressed several concerns regarding services in Seymour that were not available to Blount County residents. These services included the waste station on Chapmen highway, the Sevier County Library, etc. The writer further stated that Blount County Residents living in the 37865 area buy their groceries, fuel and service their cars, utilize the doctors, dentist, the drugstores and all the other businesses in Sevier County.
Your ad for subscription in The Seymour Herald, your newspaper, now prices your paper $3.90 higher for Blount County residents including those that live in 37865 zip code area. Most of these residents live within 1 to 3 miles of your newspaper office. When you were getting your newspaper established, you made a special rate and welcomed Blount County Residents at the same price.
It seems that the Seymour Herald has determined that Seymour stops at the Blount County Line.
Recently I visited your newspaper office asking for clarification of the ad you posted for annual subscription to your newspaper. At that time, I was informed that I would be required to pay the higher price ($29.90) even though I live approximately 1 1/2 miles from your office and approximately 4 miles from the Seymour Post Office.
During my conversation with your office I was informed I did not qualify for the lower subscription price of $26.00 because I reside in Blount County. You further stated that the Post Office required you to pay extra for people living out of Sevier County even though it was still 37865 Zip Code.
Not so, say the post office. The authorities at the Post Office informed me that The Seymour Herald is charged by weight and number of pieces and that it costs no more to mail the paper to California, or any other state, than it does to Sevier County Residents.
I fail to see the justification for the increased cost to Blount County (37865) residents or, for that matter, to all Blount County residents.
The $3.90 is not the issue. It is just another incident of discrimination against the Blount County residents living in the Seymour area.
Charles E. Johnson
There never was a “Special rate” for Blount County residents living in Seymour. The initial rate was $20.80 for a year’s subscription. Due to costs, it increased to $26.00 for people living in the 37865 zip code in Sevier County and $29.90 for people living outside the 37865 zip code and Sevier County.
It wasn’t until our first bulk mailing a few weeks later that we were informed of an extra charge for addresses outside Sevier County, even if they are in the 37865 area code and in Seymour. The post office officials from Knoxville instructed us to separate the mailing by county and we would be charged a higher rate for anything outside of Sevier County.
I do not know who you spoke with at the post office but the information they gave you is wrong. There is an extra charge for out of county mailing and out of state mailing is almost three times the cost of in-county mailing. The more work the post office does with sorting, etc. the more they charge for those services.
Seymour’s Postmaster Blake Hickman stated, “I agree that there should not be an extra charge if someone is in the Seymour 37865 area but when an organization chooses to go to a periodical rate you choose which county you are in and that determines your in-county rate. You only get one county as in-county rates.”
As you can see we do not discriminate and welcome any and all subscribers from the Blount County area. Blount County is part of our community, our newspaper and we welcome subscribers input on feature story ideas, community news and reports from Blount, Knox and Sevier Counties.
At $26.00 and $29.90 we are not even covering our mailing costs. Our intent with mailing to subscriber’s homes is one of convenience to the reader who desires to make certain they do not miss a single issue of The Seymour Herald because it does contain information not available anywhere else. In the future, The Seymour Herald will charge anyone living in the 37865 the $26.00 rate, even if it does cost us more. If you would like to come in for you $3.90 refund you may do so.
Thank you for your interest and concern.