Begich Finds Temporary Fix to Wainwright Postal Problem, Pushes for Permanent Solution
“The People of Wainwright Deserve Better.”
In response to demands from U.S. Senator Mark Begich, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is stationing a temporary worker in Wainwright to re-open the local post office that has been closed for two weeks, depriving Wainwright residents of their regular deliveries of food, medicine, and mail.
“The fact that this post office was closed with little notice and no explanation is totally unacceptable and I demanded immediate action from the USPS district office and the USPS liaison in Washington to fix the situation. The people of Wainwright deserve better, and I will not stop pushing USPS on this issue until the Wainwright Post Office is back to normal operations,” said Begich. “Closing a post office in the Lower 48 may be a minor inconvenience, but here in Alaska, a closed post office means people can’t get their medicine or their paychecks. It is outrageous that USPS did not have a plan in place to make sure Wainwright’s post office remained open.”
In response to Begich’s request, a temporary worker was transferred from Barrow to Wainwright for the foreseeable future. This individual has been tasked with immediately going through the backlog of mail in order to open the public window as soon as possible. Sorting is a necessary first step in order to locate and organize letters and packages for pick up. After the temporary worker has assessed the situation, the USPS will provide Begich’s office with an estimate of how long it will take to process the backlog and when the public can pick up their mail. USPS will also determine how long they expect the temporary worker to be stationed in Wainwright.
USPS is currently recruiting for the position of postmaster to operate the local post offices in Wainwright and Levelock. Interested Wainwright residents can apply to work as postmaster relief by calling (907) 261-5450.
Begich has been a strong advocate for better postal service in Alaska and has successfully fought against rate increases and post office closures.