Murkowski on USPS Proposal: “This is Necessity, Not Convenience”

Senator Murkowski Responds to Initial Data on Potential Postal Closures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned the initial proposed list released by the United States Postal Service suggesting changes to Alaska’s Postal Service operations. “The United States Postal Service themselves admit that this is a rough first draft from a computer’s raw data,” Murkowski said.  “But you simply can’t compare four Seattle post offices to 1 in Platinum – this is necessity, not convenience in terms of Alaska’s way of life.”

The Postmaster General held a news conference earlier today, to announce the list of 3,653 post offices that will be studied for possible closure or relocation – including 36 in Alaska.  The list was based on three criteria—short business hours, diminished volume, and little foot traffic – as is frequently the case in rural Alaska.  The next step for the Postal Service will be a comprehensive evaluation by postal analysts, who will weigh changes to each post office.

Senator Murkowski’s staff has been informed that if there is no other local post office in a rural community, the post office there will not close. Another part of today’s announcement was an initiative where Village Post Offices – if a restructuring were considered necessary – could operate within other local retailers like pharmacies or grocery stores, if available.

“I know that the United States Postal Service needs reform, and the Postmaster General needs to put everything on the table when it comes to finding efficiencies,” added Murkowski. “As the USPS considers the proposed closures and relocations of Alaska’s post offices, I am confident they will recognize that many of these locations serve critical functions beyond just selling stamps and delivering letters.  In many off-the-road-system communities, the Post Office is the only place where prescriptions are delivered, businesses can receive and send inventory, and banking is conducted. Not to mention the weather challenges faced by many regions of Alaska experience, where even driving a few miles further – where there are roads – can be not only difficult but life threatening.”

For a list of the Alaska Postal Offices identified for study, click here: