WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned the United States Postal Service’s decision-making process behind the proposed closure of the Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright and Elmendorf Air Force Base post offices. In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, she pointed out that not only is the USPS using 17-year old population data to make the determination, but also that both Fairbanks locations made money last year, calling the entire process’ accuracy into question.
Senator Murkowski wrote, “I understand that the initial decision to evaluate these post offices… was based on data for revenue and volume that was available at the time. I do not understand, however, why either Eielson or Fort Wainwright are still being considered for closure given the current revenue and profit figures.” In August, data became available that showed the Fort Wainwright revenues increased by $160,334. Despite a 6.6% decrease in revenues, Eielson Air Force Base’s post office still made the USPS $54,536. Discrepancies noted for the Fairbanks base caused Senator Murkowski to question whether discrepancies exist in the Elmendorf AFB data as well.
As for the outdated information being used in terms of the number of service members, families, and others who rely on these post offices, Senator Murkowski also wrote “Basing the important decision of whether or not to close a post office on data from the Clinton Administration is unthinkable, and does not account for the nearly doubling of active duty soldiers in Alaska since 2003.”