April 14, 2011

Manchin Works with U.S. Postmaster to Preserve Mail Service in West Virginia

Postmaster agrees to hold regional workshops to hear from residents about critical need for mail service all over West Virginia

In letter, Manchin asks that no further action be taken on postal closures until after postmaster hears from West Virginians

Washington, D.C. — On the heels of several studies to potentially shutter West Virginia post offices, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has reached an agreement with the U.S. Postmaster General to hold public meetings about the impact of potential post office closures all over the state. The Senator underscored the agreement today in a letter and also urged the Postmaster General to stop any of the dozens of potential closures in the state until the meetings are held.

“West Virginia families are rightly concerned with what might happen if the U.S. Postal Service forces some of our local post offices to close,” Senator Manchin said. “I grew up in the small town of Farmington – with just a few hundred people – and I speak from experience when I say that rural post offices serve as a critical lifeline to the communities. As an elected representative, I receive dozens, sometimes hundreds of letters a day from my constituents, many of whom can only reach me by writing a letter. Local post offices are a vital link for West Virginians and many others throughout our country, and it is imperative that mail service remain uncompromised.”

The U.S. Postal Service is reviewing mail operations around the state. Earlier this month, Senator Manchin spoke directly to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who agreed to join Senator Manchin in hosting regional workshops in West Virginia to gather ideas from local officials and concerned citizens on ways mail service can remain intact while achieving cost savings. Senator Manchin’s letter reiterated that agreement, and the Senator asked that the post office initiate no further action on potential closures until regional workshops have been held.

Senator Manchin has previously joined his colleagues in the Congressional delegation to call on the Postmaster to explain why a disproportionate number of area mail processing studies are occurring in West Virginia.

The Senator’s letter to the Postmaster General today is attached.

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