Delegation Questions Possible Closures of Fairbanks Post Offices
Asks Postmaster General for explanation of information used to consider Fort Wainwright, Eielson closures
The Alaska Congressional Delegation is expressing concern over the decision to move forward on possible closure of the post offices on Alaska’s Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. After learning yesterday that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has taken the next step toward closing the two offices, the delegation today sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahue questioning the calculations used to arrive at the decision to consider closing.
The letter expresses concern the discontinuance decision doesn’t take into consideration the impact on military members and their families, and may be based on inaccurate information including the fact the USPS is using the wrong population counts for both bases.
“As has been previously noted to you, the men and women who comprise many of the units at both Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base have been deployed almost continuously in support of overseas operations. Therefore, your current calculations may not accurately reflect the needs of the soldiers and airmen who will return to Alaska as we draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the letter states.
The letter also questions the accuracy of revenue and profit figures used by the USPS and asks for details of the decision for discontinuance at both sites.
“Please provide us, within 30 days, with details of the decision for discontinuance, specifically the metrics used to calculate utilization rates at Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. Further, please provide us with a plan of how comprehensive postal services will continue to be rendered at the two installations, should the post offices ultimately be closed.”
As part of the discontinuance process, the USPS has opened a 60-day public comment period regarding the possible closures of the two military base post offices.
Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young have all been actively lobbying the USPS to keep Alaska’s post offices open after an initial list of 36 post offices was announced in July as under review for possible closure. In recent weeks, as a result of pressure from the delegation, 31 post offices in Alaska have been taken off that list and will remain open.
In addition to the letter sent today, attached to this release are individual letters the members have sent to the Postmaster General.
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Posted: October 27, 2011