Maryville Daily Forum: U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, whose 6th Congressional District includes Nodaway County, released a statement Monday acknowledging the need for the U.S. Postal Service to make fiscal reforms but urging that such changes preserve a high level of mail service in rural areas.
Rep. Graves Statement:
Postal Service Needs to Look at All Options
A Pony Express rider could leave St. Joseph and make it to Sacramento in less than 10 days. Later, the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for the express.
In the same way, the United States Postal Service is facing challenging times because technology has evolved. Communication is now instantaneous.
The Postal Service is now completely self-financed; the federal government does not support it with taxpayer dollars. But they are currently running an $8 billion deficit. To help balance their books, they want to study whether or not to close 3,700 mostly rural post offices nationwide, including 167 in Missouri. They also want to reduce delivery to five days per week.
There is no doubt the agency needs to address its budget problems. However, they seem to be intent on doing it at the expense of rural America. Closing a post office in a small town is not the same as closing one in an urban community. The daily service is sometimes the only lifeline that many residents have for prescriptions or checks.
I believe there are other options, such as co-locating a post office at another building in town, reducing the bureaucracy that has nothing to do with mail service and consolidating post offices in major urban areas. Simply reducing services and rural locations will only make the Postal Service less competitive and reduce revenues further.
I have asked the Postmaster General to look at all options before reducing delivery and isolating small towns. These small post offices are an essential part of our rural communities.