Rural Post Offices to Stay Open under New Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young applauded today’s announcement from the U.S Postal Service (USPS) that it will keep thousands of rural post offices open. Specifically, instead of closing post offices, the new plan allows rural communities to keep their post offices open with reduced hours. This new plan will be implemented over the next two years and would not be completed until September 2014. The Postal Service estimates this plan would save about $500 million per year.
“Rural post offices often times serve as the heart of a community,” said Rep. Young. “While today’s announcement certainly seems like a step in the right direction for Alaskans, I still want to see further details of the plan and ensure that this plan – under no circumstances – leads to the closure of Alaskan post offices.”
In July 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would review about 3,700 post offices throughout the country and provide a list of recommended closures. In total, 36 Alaskan postal facilities were selected for review. Following the review and after hearing from countless Alaskans, 31 post offices were taken off of the review list. The five remaining Alaskan postal facilities still under review are not affected by today’s announcement and their statuses will be determined in the near future.
“Since the Postal Service announced its plan last July, I have not been alone in my battle to keep Alaska’s rural post offices open. Thousands of Alaskans have written the Alaskan Delegation as well as the Postal Service and even participated in rallies to keep our post offices open.”
Rep. Young’s recent involvement includes:
- Signed a letter that calls on House Leadership to bring up for consideration the recently Senate-passed Postal Reform bill.
- Signed a letter that urges Postmaster General Donahue to extend the May 15 moratorium on post office and mail processing facility closures until Congress completes postal reform legislation.
- Cosponsor of H.R. 4335, which would give the Postal Regulatory Commission authority to halt any Post Office or mail processing facility closure if the closure is not supported by substantial evidence.
“Congress has a responsibility to act – and act quickly on postal reform legislation,” Rep. Young continued. "My hope is that the House will consider the Senate-passed legislation soon, so the Postal Service has long-term stability. However, as I have said before, I will not only oppose legislation that cuts postal service to Alaskans, but I will lead the fight to ensure it does not see the light of day.”