WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, joined by Congressmen H. Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt, sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe requesting the United States Postal Service to reconsider the proposed closure of the Roanoke Processing and Distribution Center. The letter also expressed concerns about the effect of this proposed closure on service for rural constituents. If the Roanoke facility closes, Southwest, Western, and Central Virginia will be without a mail processing center.
Text of the letter is below:
The Hon. Patrick Donahoe
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Mr. Donahoe,
We are writing to express our concern about the proposed closure of the Roanoke, Virginia Processing and Distribution Center.
On June 30, 2014, the Postal Service announced its intention to move forward with its network rationalization of mail processing operations plan and placed 82 Postal sites on its list of facilities to be closed or consolidated. The Roanoke Processing and Distribution Center was included on this list and its operations scheduled to be consolidated with those of a similar facility in Greensboro, North Carolina.
We understand that the Postal Service must find ways in which to improve its current and future financial condition and that the financial problems now facing the Postal Service warrant concern. However, we do not believe the closure of the Roanoke facility will bring about a favorable result for the Postal Service’s financial situation. The closure of this facility will bring about the end of Overnight First-Class mail delivery by the Postal Service to the area, leaving local businesses with no choice but to choose other vendors to serve their shipping needs. This loss in revenue will hardly prove beneficial to the Postal Service and will likely serve as an impetus to drive even more customers toward private shipping companies.
In addition, we are concerned about the effect of this closure upon our most rural constituents. Unlike those in urban areas, these individuals will not have the ability to send and receive First-Class mail under the same time frame and do not have access to competitors who could ensure timely delivery, and therefore will be unfairly impacted by this plan. Furthermore, the whole of Central, Western, and Southwest Virginia will be devoid of reliable mail processing under this closure since the Lynchburg, Virginia, Bristol, Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Bluefield, West Virginia facilities are now closed.
Lastly, we are concerned about the ability of the Greensboro facility to process and distribute the amount of mail that will be required of it following this closure. Considering the large volume of letter and package mail currently processed by the Roanoke center, we find it doubtful that the Greensboro facility will be able to adequately manage such an addition to its present processing and distribution responsibilities.
It is for these reasons that we respectfully ask that you reconsider your present course of action and find other ways in which to address the fiscal problems facing the Postal Service. We await your prompt reply.