Senator Snowe Urges USPS to Examine Impact of PO Closures on Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 29, 2011) – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) is urging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to examine the potentially harmful effect possible post office consolidations and closures could have on rural communities. In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahue following the release of a report by the USPS identifying 34 possible post office closures in Maine, Senator Snowe has requested the Postal Service examine potentially harmful consequences for rural communities at risk of losing their post offices and report back on their findings.

Senator Snowe said:

“There is no question that tumultuous economic times have forced families and businesses alike to make tough choices when it comes to their finances. However, the current financial challenges faced by the USPS should not preclude the preservation of universal postal service and convenient community access, which together constitute the bedrock of towns large and small across the nation. It is critical we carefully assess the potential impact of these proposed closures, especially as it relates to service in rural communities.”

In her letter to the Postmaster General today, Senator Snowe asserted, “While I understand the imperative to reduce costs, it is absolutely critical that your actions not tear at the fabric of island communities and rural towns and villages by denying them the reliable, affordable and convenient postal service currently provided.” A copy of the Senator’s letter to the Postmaster General is attached.

BACKGROUND: In an attempt to cut costs after reporting a $2.6 billion third quarter loss, the USPS believes it can save $200 million by closing 3,700 of its 32,000 post offices nationwide. According to the USPS, over 3,000 of the offices identified reported less than $27,500 in annual revenue.