WASHINGTON D.C. – As the United States Postal Service considers closing 71 offices in Colorado, Reps. Gardner and Tipton are urging its chief executive to keep in mind possible alternatives.
During a joint meeting with Post Master General Patrick Donahoe yesterday, Gardner and Tipton’s offices reiterated their concerns about the impact closures will have on rural businesses and communities. Out of 71 post offices under review by the USPS for closure in Colorado – 61 fall within the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts.
After the meeting, Gardner and Tipton released the following joint statement:
"We acknowledge that the USPS is in need of systematic reforms, and we understand that General Donahoe has some tough decisions ahead of him. It is our hope, however, that as part of General Donahoe’s decision making process he consider other alternatives. General Donahue has indicated that the total savings nationwide that would result from the closure of all of the post offices listed in the discontinuance study would be in the range of $150-200 million annually, a fraction of the Postal Service’s $73 billion annual operating costs. It is clear that if the USPS is going to make the fundamental changes necessary to compete, it should look somewhere other than rural post offices."
Donahoe told Gardner and Tipton that he would work with their offices as the Postal Service seeks to make the fundamental changes necessary to survive in today’s competitive economic environment.
Earlier this month, Gardner and Tipton also wrote a letter to the Postal Regulatory Commission outlining the negative impact post office closures will have on rural communities.
"Traveling to distant postal facilities in the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts during winter months could be extremely difficult, expensive and dangerous," the pair wrote. "Some post offices that appear to be in geographic proximity are in reality not readily accessible. Finally, some of these post offices that seem to service a proportionately small population are essential to the existence of small isolated communities. The potential effect of these closures should involve significant consideration of the individual or unique characteristics of the respective communities served."