Snowe Opposes USPS Consolidation Plan for Hampden Facility – Provides comments challenging agency’s proposal at public meeting in Brewer

Office of Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) this evening expressed her strenuous opposition to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) controversial proposal to consolidate the Eastern Maine Processing and Distribution Facility’s mail processing operations from Hampden into its Southern Maine Processing and Distribution Center in Scarborough, under the guise of cost-saving. Participating at a public meeting tonight in Brewer, Senator Snowe called on the Postal Service to reevaluate its plan based on the damaging impact the agency’s actions could have on mail delivery throughout rural areas in western, northern, and eastern Maine.

Senator Snowe said:

"This plan has profoundly negative implications for timely and reliable mail service in northern, western and eastern Maine, a geographically vast and rural area of our state. To this point, Mainers have been given inadequate explanation and information by the Postal Service, and I am still not persuaded that this proposal will achieve the $7.6 million in savings the agency claims; rather, I am convinced it would disproportionately slow down mail delivery to rural areas of Maine, including for our seniors and small businesses. As such, I expressed my opposition to the agency’s proposal as currently structured at tonight’s public meeting, and I urge the Postal Service to reconsider its plan."

BACKGROUND: In her efforts to lead the charge against the USPS’s consolidation proposal, Senator Snowe visited the Eastern Maine Processing and Distribution facility in Hampden on December 20, 2011 to meet with the plant’s manager and employees. During the visit, Senator Snowe expressed her opposition to the plan, and questioned the ability of the Postal Service to save money by shifting jobs from Hampden to Scarborough. She also questioned the logic of having mail travel, for example, from Fort Fairfield down to Scarborough, only to arrive back at its recipient in Madawaska several days later than is presently the case.

The Hampden facility employs 183 people at present. The general public can comment on the USPS proposal until January 26, 2012, by sending their comments to: Consumer & Industry Manager, Northern New England District, 151 Forest Ave., Suite 7026, Portland, Maine 04101-7024.