Minimal savings is far outdone by the hardship to rural and senior citizens
Aug 12 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) this week reiterated to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donohoe the vital economic role the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plays across Kansas, especially to those living in rural communities and to senior citizens who depend on walking to the local post office to get their mail. The senator asked the Postmaster General to outline the justification for potentially closing rural post offices across the country when the Postal Regulatory Commission has indicated the projected savings would not come close to changing the financial outlook for USPS. Sen. Moran also pointed out that closing a post office simply because of revenue shortfalls is in violation of the United States Postal Code.
“The Postal Regulatory Commission has found that maintaining rural post offices only amounts to 0.7 percent of the USPS’s total budget,” Sen. Moran stated in a letter to the Postmaster General. “I believe reducing services to these communities will significantly impact rural citizens with little benefit to the Postal Service’s bottom line. My constituents that will be most affected by these decisions would like answers.”
Sen. Moran was responding to the recent release of a list of 3,653 post offices being studied by the USPS to determine use and productivity. About 130 post offices across the state of Kansas are included on that list, and could be shut down.
Please find the full text of Sen. Moran’s letter to Postmaster General Donohoe below:
August 10, 2011
Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:
Many post offices in my home state of Kansas and across the country are currently or will soon be studied for viability and profitability. Post offices serve a vital economic role in many of the communities that I represent. While the service is important to communities across our country, it is extremely important for rural residents.
If the U.S. Postal Service is attempting to discontinue services in these communities because the post offices do not make revenues in excess of expenses, my concern is with the possible violation of Section 101(b) of Title 39 of the United States Code. This section states: “The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.” Taking this into consideration, what is the justification for the USPS to close rural post offices?
Additionally, it is to my understanding that the Postal Regulatory Commission has found that maintaining rural post offices only amounts to 0.7% of the USPS’s total budget. If these communities do lose access to their post office, I would like to know how the resulting savings would ultimately impact the Postal Service’s financial crisis.
I sincerely recognize the situation that the Postal Service is facing, but I believe that reducing service to these communities will significantly impact rural citizens with little benefit to the Postal Service’s bottom line. My constituents that will be most affected by these decisions would like answers to the questions proposed in this letter. I look forward to your prompt response.
Very truly yours,
- (207.4 KBs)