Hoeven pushes postal service to address issues in western ND

WASHINGTON – In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Senator John Hoeven today pressed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to address reliability and quality of service issues in growing communities of western North Dakota.

In response to concerns from members of the community, Hoeven has assigned staff in Washington and in North Dakota to work with Postal Service officials to address staffing shortages, service reliability, service hours and other issues.

In the letter sent to Donahoe today, Hoeven wrote: “As you may know, the recent development of North Dakota’s natural resources is dramatically changing western North Dakota’s demographics and living conditions. This unprecedented growth has created a variety of challenges, including challenges for local post offices and customers.

“Without question, the United States Postal Service is facing significant challenges of its own and I recognize the importance of efforts to move the organization towards solvency. At the same time, preserving and improving dependable USPS service, which can meet the demands of the individuals and businesses across the country and in North Dakota, is critically important.

“I was recently pleased to see that the USPS has acknowledged the changing needs of this region and will be taking these dynamics into consideration going forward. Still I remain concerned that these issues have not yet been appropriately addressed,” Hoeven wrote.

The USPS held listening sessions in Watford City, Williston and Tioga in early January as part of their efforts to improve service. Hoeven was represented at these meetings by his western North Dakota field representative Jon Cameron.

In response to residents’ concerns, the USPS late Friday notified the city of Taylor that it will change service hours from the afternoon to the morning to accommodate local businesses. Hoeven’s office had pressed the USPS officials for that and other actions to better serve the region.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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