Government is at it again trying to find ways to cut costs at the sake of the citizens. The latest battle round is focusing on rural Post Offices. On July 26, the US Postal Service released a long-awaited “post office study” of nearly 3700 potential closings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The list was developed based on customer foot traffic and post office employee workload. The US Postmaster General is recommending closing facilities in rural communities which will have little impact on the PO budget but will significantly affect each community.
Last year the US Postal Service had a net loss of $8.5 billion; in 2009 it had a $3.8 billion loss. The Postal Regulatory Commission has found that maintaining rural post offices only amounts to 0.7 percent of the USPS’s total budget. The Postal Service has reduced its staff over the past several years, has cut billions from its costs and has asked Congress to cut delivery to five days a week and to reduce its contributions toward future retiree health benefits.
Rutland, Havana and Cayuga stations are on the closing list. The first step was a Rutland community meeting last week to initiate a call to action by Rutland residents. Over 40 individuals attended the meeting to hear about the proposed closings and to identify steps to take to challenge the closing of the Rutland Post Office. A petition was started and many residents took copies to obtain signatures of area residents . Secondly, we are all asked to send letters to our Congressional Delegation: Congressman Rick Berg, 3170 43rd Street S, Fargo, ND 58104; Senator Kent Conrad, U.S. Federal Building, Room 306, 657 2nd Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102; and Senator John Hoeven, 1802 32nd Avenue South, Room B, Fargo ND 58103. Letters should also be sent to our local legislators: Senator Jim Dotzenrod, PO Box 69, Wyndmere ND 58081-0069; Representative Bill Amerman, PO Box 43, Forman ND 58032-0043; and Representative Jerry Kelsh, PO Box 27, Fullerton ND 58441-0027.
Click here for a sample letter that you should modify to make the letter more personal about how the closing will affect you and/or your businesses. A “Rutland Fact Sheet” is also included for your information. Don’t forget to mail your letter at the Rutland Post Office!