Postmaster Visits Williston Region - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Postmaster Visits Williston Region

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Postal Service lines will be lightened in Williston with the addition of a new 'postal station' on the north side of town.

That was one conclusion from the roundtable discussion today during Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's visit to the Bakken.

While the United States Postal Service struggles financially on a federal level, the opposite struggle exists in Western North Dakota: trying to keep up with business.

Donahoe heard concerns from community leaders, postal worker and newspaper representatives.

Officials from Mercy Medical Center and Montana-Dakota Utilities both say billing cycles often return from wrong addresses, but the bigger problem is that they are returned months later --- after the bill was already turned over to collection agencies.

Postal service workers expressed the need for more vehicles and four-wheel drive in the winter.

Permanent addresses have also been difficult to track in the last several years.

Agencies like Williston State College, Mercy Medical and Williams County have completed apartment buildings for workers this summer.

Representatives were most concerned about apartment delivery --- Donahoe says clusterboxes work best and says he will be sure the area has plenty.

(Patrick Donahoe, U.S. Postmaster General) "We're very good at handling these kinds of things. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we were on the spot, first in, done. Not a problem. People got mail before they got anything else. We know how to fix these things. I'm sorry that it has taken this long but we will get this stuff resolved."

Donahoe says adding clusterboxes, parcel lockers and self-service kiosks will be among the first changes in the area.

In the next two weeks, each postal site in the Bakken area will be surveyed for service growth.

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