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Sen. Manchin fights for POs

By Staff | Apr 20, 2011

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.

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In a move to consolidate postal services nationwide, the United States Postal Service recently announced that the Sistersville and Paden City Post Offices will soon be locations to pick up mail only. The New Martinsville Post Office will be responsible for mail processing formerly done at the two locations affected.

The consolidation is part of a program underway which will cut mail processing and distribution networks. Though early reports indicated the immiedate implementation of this plan, it has since been postponed pending a study into the matter.

When contacted by TSN, public relations manager for the United States Postal Service Cathy Yarosky commented, “We have been conducting public meetings and we will continue to do so. We look forward to working with Senator Manchin on this matter.”