Collins questions PO closing plans

WASHINGTON, July 26 — The United States Postal Service today announced a list of nearly 3,700 post offices it will consider for closure.

Senator Susan Collins, who is the Ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and who in February introduced postal reform legislation, issued the following statement:

"The fact is, maintaining our nation’s rural post offices costs the Postal Service less than one percent of its total budget and is not the cause of its financial crisis. While there are some areas where postal services could be consolidated or moved into a nearby retail store to ensure continued access, this simply is not an option in many rural and remote areas. For example, Matinicus Island is about 20 miles off the coast of Maine and receives mail five rather than six days a week and then only in good weather. Closing this post office or moving it into a large retail facility is simply not realistic.

"It is essential that the Postal Service solicit local input before deciding to close or consolidate a post office, and it must weigh the potential impact of any decision on the community as well as on its legal obligation to provide universal service."

  • Informed American

    Thank you Senator Collins for your comments and being accurate in your facts. Now if we could get some of your fellow Republicans, ie Issa and Ross in the House to be as informed, accurate and intellegent as you; we would be on the right track.

  • Realist

    And why couldn’t the Post Office be run by the Town Office or out of the Island Store? Do they really need a full time post office for an island of about 70 residents when it could be incorporated into the town office or local store for a substantial savings to the Postal Service with no change in service other than a different location on the island? Collins thinking is exactly why the country is in debt up to it’s eyeballs. Time for some reasonable sacrifice – if this could even be called “sacrifice”.

  • Concerned postal worker

    Senator Collins, if you owned a business and a branch of that business only sold $20,000 in product while encurring $100,000 in expenses would you continue to keep that branch open? You wouldn’t be in business very long. We are a mobile society. It’s not unusual to travel 20-30 miles for groceries, gas, doctor,work and other daily staples. We’ll continue to deliver to your house for FREE but when you need to mail a package plan it into your regular shopping trip. You do with everything else. Stop soap boxing for votes and do what’s right for the Postal Service. You want us to run it like a business? Get out of the way and let us run it like one.

  • PonyExpress

    Swan’s Island, Maine also no longer has 3 post offices but one. I have been in that post office where the lone person manning it, although busy, was not surprised to hear I did not need help but had just wandered in. Seems like even on that island, there are not a lot of people using the post office. Rumor has it some guy is the “go to” person for getting stuff on the island in an emergency. Probably could put a post office in the ferry building instead of having a brick and mortor post office. But, I’m not arguing that it won’t save musch money; I’m just saying it is not needed.

  • Postmaster in midwest

    @ ponyexpress, actually the typical method that USPS wants these customers to go to is put up an NDCBU (which is a metal cluster box like at apartment complexes in larger towns). These boxes would be in the middle of nowhere with basically zero protection. These new P O Boxes (NDCBU units) are where they would receive their medication, checks, bills, and other mail. If they would like to buy a money order, well the customer can just leave the cash in this unprotected box and wait for a rural carrier to pick it up when they deliver the mail. Most offices that are being closed won’t be able to get a road side box, because well that would add cost to delivery for the rural carrier, therefore nilching the savings for closing the office. Most of these people live below poverty, my office the below poverty level for elderly people is just above 20%, under 18 is at 30% of children living below poverty. Some of the elderly that are my beloved customers either can’t read and write, or can’t do so very well from just being elderly. Who do you think does this for them? There is no store or any other business in this town, so there will be NO VILLAGE OFFICE for my customers. The nearest other Post Office is only 5 miles, however, guess what, that one is closing too. There isn’t anything there either, the nearest real grocery store is 20-25 minutes away, but don’t forget most of them don’t really drive much anymore. That is why I rarely show up for work without a gallon, 1/2 gallon of milk, loaf of bread, toilet paper, tylenol. Why? Well because they ask me too, WHY? Well because most of them cannot afford the gas or they can’t physically just run to the store and back, if they did that they couldn’t afford the milk. If one of my elderly doesn’t pick up their mail in 2 days, I’m either going to their house to find out why, calling a neighbor or a family member to find out why. Why do we do this, why, because there isn’t anyone else. Kentucky has 29 counties that are in the top 100 of the poorest counties in the entire country, making it the #1 state with the most counties. Sure, let’s make them poorer, why not. Another interesting fact, 97% of the post offices that are on the list from Tuesday voted Republican in the last election.