In The News - Text
Aug 30 2013
Seeing is believing. That’s why I invited U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to visit western North Dakota to see our growth and hear from community leaders, local postal workers and area businesses about how important reliable postal service is for our state and our economy. After inspecting postal facilities, touring housing complexes and meeting with our community, we secured a personal commitment from the head of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to improve service and better meet the region’s postal needs.
We made a compelling case to the Postmaster General. Local postal employees at the Williston Post Office facility outlined the challenges they face on a daily basis: increased mail and package volume, extended work hours, staffing and wage challenges, equipment needs and the impacts of traffic on delivery schedules.
We convened a roundtable for Donahoe to hear the concerns of community leaders and representatives of colleges, school districts, hospitals, newspapers, housing operators and postal employees. The Watford City Post Office was designed to serve a community of 1,800 and today it serves up to 10,000 people. Newspapers are delivered irregularly, causing cancelled subscriptions and loss of revenue for both the papers and the post office. Housing complexes built by public and private employers lack mail delivery service. These are just a few examples of the real challenges that we need USPS to address.
Upon seeing for the first time our enormous growth, Postmaster General Donahoe personally committed to take immediate steps to help address our challenges and improve postal service in the region, including:
- Opening a new store front post office in North Williston that will provide counter service, post office boxes and automated stamp machines.
- Ensuring that postal employees are equipped with better vehicles to safely do their jobs.
- Addressing the salary disparity of postal employees, expediting the hiring process and reviewing staffing levels.
- Directing his District Manager to immediately correct the problem associated with the delivery of newspapers to customers.
- Directing that housing units owned and operated by employers have direct mail delivery at existing mailboxes or newly installed cluster mailboxes that include large parcel units on-site to reduce or eliminate the need for postal customers to pick up packages at the post office.
- Exploring options to expand or replace the post office facility in Watford City to better meet the needs of the community and assess implementing home delivery services to residents.
- Reviewing the hours of operations in rural post offices that are experiencing growth.
These are concrete actions to address our communities’ real concerns and we look forward to seeing the USPS deliver on these promises.
We have invited the postmaster to return to North Dakota in the coming months to review our progress and visit additional North Dakota communities. We appreciate Postmaster General Donahoe’s personal commitment to improving and will continue pushing for better, more reliable postal service across our state.