Hoeven: Regional USPS VP Visits Williston to Provide Update About Western North Dakota Postal Service Improvements

WILLISTON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today hosted Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area, to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in western North Dakota and its impacts on postal service. The senator also arranged a roundtable for Aliperto to update community leaders and representatives of postal employees about USPS’ efforts to retain and expand postal services throughout the region. The meeting follows Hoeven’s continued work with USPS, including hosting Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in Williston in August, to improve delivery and customer service issues throughout North Dakota.

“I am pleased to have Drew Aliperto meet with Williston area community leaders to provide an update about the ongoing steps USPS is taking to meet the changing postal needs in western North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “The region’s unprecedented growth has created a variety of challenges for local post offices and customers, and we appreciate USPS’ continued efforts to work directly with our state through forums like today’s roundtable so we can enact effective plans to improve service in the oil patch.”

Hoeven invited Aliperto to Williston to provide community leaders with an update on the progress made since Donahoe visited North Dakota this summer and agreed to undertake a number initiatives. USPS has been focused on improving delivery to area residents and businesses, allocating additional vehicles to the Williston area, renovating area facilities and hiring more postal workers.

Hoeven asked Donahoe to come to North Dakota when they met in Washington in July to discuss postal service challenges in North Dakota owing to the agency’s fiscal problems combined with the state’s rapidly growing economy and population. Donahoe directed staff in the Sioux Falls regional office to work specifically on recruiting additional employees at competitive pay levels. He said he has a person working full-time to meet the staffing needs in North Dakota.

During the roundtable, the senator was joined by: Williston Mayor Ward Koeser, Williams County Commission Chair Dan Kalil, Williams County Project Manager Deanna Senior, Williston Herald Publisher Mitzi Moe, Fortuna Council Member Gary Rust, Montana-Dakota Utilities Energy Services Manager Ken Callahan, Montana-Dakota Utilities Williston District Manager Ben Zachmeier, Williston State College Foundation Executive Director Terry Olson, Williston Public School District Superintendent Dr. Viola LaFontaine, Badlands Development/Power Fuels Property Manager Reino Rousu, Bakken Housing Partners Manager Katie Walters and National Rural Letter Carriers Association Executive Committeeman Don Maston.

The senator supported the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012, comprehensive reform legislation that sought to develop a thoughtful plan to restore the U.S. Postal Service to solvency while preserving delivery service standards.