WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today praised a new U.S. Postal Service (USPS) strategy that will save 137 rural mail facilities in Maryland previously slated for closure. The USPS announcement was a major victory in the Maryland Senators’ fight to save rural post offices. More information about the Postal Services new plan and a list of Maryland post offices that will remain open are available in the Postmaster General’s letter here.
“The Postmaster General has made the right decision not to close rural post offices for the foreseeable future and to maintain essential postal delivery in rural areas,” said Senator Cardin. “Maintaining post offices in rural areas is particularly important to small businesses, farmers and a significant number of rural and elderly Americans who rely on their mail delivery for life-saving medications, important business documents and shipment of live animals. I am committed to ensuring that our rural residents have the postal delivery that they need to meet their needs. ”
The Postmaster General also announced today that the USPS hold meetings in individual communities to get their input about hours of operation. Additionally, the USPS has revised its plan to close 3,700 post offices. Under its new strategy, more than 13,000 rural mail facilities will continue to operate under a new framework.
“I’m proud to stand up and fight to protect rural communities, to protect small businesses, to protect jobs and to protect vulnerable populations who rely on the postal service,” Senator Mikulski said. “We do have a digital divide in the United States of America. Not everyone has access to high speed Internet or walks around with these cool electronic devices. Taking post offices away from rural areas could have Draconian consequences. Small businesses need access to post offices to stay in business. Senior citizens need access to post offices to get their prescription drugs. Most farmers are small entrepreneurs. They need their post offices. I love Maryland’s rural communities. I want them to have the access to post offices they need.”
Local communities will be given several options to keep their post offices open, including:
- Preserving postal facilities by modifying existing window hours;
- Merging a postal facility with a nearby full-service post office;
- Extending or expanding rural carrier delivery in communities where current service is limited to post office box availability; and
- Engaging a local business or government office to establish a village post office at a local store like Walgreens or Office Depot.
Senators Cardin and Mikulski recently announced a major victory that their advocacy to protect mail delivery service standards in the Senate’s 21st Century Postal Reform Act has led to changes in the bill that would assure Maryland mail processing facilities remain open. This includes the Mail Processing Centers in Easton, Cumberland, Baltimore, Linthicum Heights, Capitol Heights, Gaithersburg and Capitol Heights.