The City Wire reports:
On Tuesday, (Nov. 8), U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, announced on his Twitter feed that the U.S. Postal Service will “temporarily suspend” all post office closings nationwide from Nov. 19 – Jan. 2. While no formal announcement on the moratorium has been made by USPS officials, Ross’ office has received a letter disclosing the delay.
Ross’ declaration was followed by a media advisory from U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, who is introducing legislation to prohibit the USPS from closing rural post offices that do not have “an alternative post office within eight miles accessible by public roads.”
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Moratorium on Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) Implementations and Post Office Discontinuances Announced
The Postal Service has issued a notice to all Area Vice Preseidents, directing them to temporarily suspend all Delivery Unit Optimization(DUO) implementations and post office closings beginning November 19, 2011 through January 2, 2012. Postal officials said the moratorium was issued in an effort to avoid service interruptions or logisitical challenges. Districts may proceed with the post office discontinuance process, including community meetings and related actions required prior to closing, but the physcial closing of a post office or the physical reloaction of routes from one office to another (DUO) will be temporarily suspended beginning November 19, 2011 through January 2, 2012.
NAPUS President Bob Rapoza, who sent a letter to Senate Committee leaders last week requesting the inclusion of a moratorium on post office closings as part of S. 1789, applauded the action by the Postal Service. It should be noted that the NAPUS advanced ammendment was included in yesterday’s markup of S. 1789. Under the Moran Amendment, the USPS must take into account proximity to customers, demography (age and population density), and transportation and climate challenges in remote areas in setting standards. Moreover, the amendment requires a moratorium on post office closures, pending the implementation of the retail standards (i.e., 6 months from the date of enactment). Also, the standards would apply to communities that suffered the loss of their post office, during the time period one year prior to enactment (e.g., post office subject to the Retail Access Optimization Initiative). The amendment carried the bipartisan sponsorship of Senators Moran, Tester, Collins, Begich (D-AK), McCaskill (D-MO) and Landrieu (D-LA); it was approved by 12-4 vote. The only Senators voting no were Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Rand Paul (R-KY)