MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today spoke with Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area, to press for the continued operation of the Minot Area Mail Processing facility.
In 2011, the USPS began studying more than 250 mail processing facilities nationwide for possible consolidation or closure. By February 2014, 141 facilities had been consolidated, and the USPS announced a freeze on further action for the remaining facilities, including Minot. This week, however, the Postal Service notified affected facilities that it is resuming the plan.
Hoeven’s call was prompted by Monday’s announcement that the USPS planned to close as many as 82 mail processing facilities, including Minot, beginning in January 2015. At Hoeven’s request, however, Aliperto committed to further evaluating the Minot facility in light of significant population growth in the Minot region, which includes the northwest North Dakota oil counties. Aliperto said specifically that he planned to evaluate the facility’s mail volume over the coming weeks and would contact the senator with his results.
“While identifying cost savings are crucial to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Postal Service, it makes no sense to close facilities in rapidly growing parts of the country, like Minot and western North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “The Postal Service needs to consider North Dakota’s strong economic and population growth not only now but in the future when making a decision on the Minot facility.”
North Dakota is currently experiencing unprecedented development, which is increasing demands on local services and infrastructure. The Minot region is experiencing an influx of businesses and people from expansions in the energy industry.
Hoeven has been a strong advocate for providing quality postal services in fast growing North Dakota. He has hosted both Aliperto and U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in the state to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in the area and its impacts on postal service. The senator worked to get more personnel and facilities in North Dakota, including a second full-service post office in Williston, which opened this week, and a memorandum of understanding between USPS and the Rural Letter Carriers Association to grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain rural carriers in the Bakken region. The MOU includes Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Watford City and most of the communities in western North Dakota. The Postal Service has also agreed to add more career positions at the state’s post offices.