County Commissioner calls for change to Minot area mail service

Good Day Dakota

Frustrations with late or even lost mail have led a county commissioner to take his concerns to Washington D.C.

Ward County Commissioner Alan Walter says Minot and surrounding areas were dealt a bad hand when the U.S. Postal Service moved some of Minot’s mail processing to Bismarck back in 2015.

According to a statement from the United States Postal Service, all local mail destined to zip codes beginning with 587 and 588 IS processed at the Minot post office.

However, some people say, in their experience, that hasn’t always been the case.

“It’s frustrating as heck that we have that kind of service in this community,” Walter said.

He says people shouldn’t have to deal with the delay of having Minot-area mail sent all the way to Bismarck and back.

“We got mail delivered to the county here that some of it was two years old and laying around some place for two years.”

A piece of mail from March was postmarked in September of 2017.
It being undeliverable could be because of the recipient, but Walter’s question is, why did it take two years to make its way back?

This hasn’t been an issue for everyone, though.
“No it’s okay, no problem,” one person said.
“No issues at all. Good service,” said another.

Reporter Becky Farr asked people on our KX News Facebook page about their experience, and one user said ‘they’ve only received the best service.’

Another said ‘very rarely do we have issues.’

But others have had issues.
“If I’m going to Bismarck I actually take it to Bismarck and mail it because it gets there quicker,” said one man.

One user said they didn’t get mail for two months and then the box overflowed with mail postmarked from two months before.

Another said she got a piece of mail delivered this past Monday, but as you can see, the postmark is from two years ago.

Walter said, “Something has to be done.”

That’s why he’s collecting complaints (alan.walter@wardnd.com) so that he can compile and present them to North Dakota’s senators and congressmen in Washington D.C.

A statement from the Western Area U.S. Postal Service says:

“The decision in 2015 to move a portion of mail processing from Minot to Bismarck was based on a nation-wide multi-phase, multi-year effort to balance mail processing infrastructure costs against current and anticipated mail volumes and successfully right-size the postal processing network.  In fact, since 2016 First-Class Mail volume has fallen 5.5 billion pieces nationwide. The U.S. Postal Service is committed to providing the best customer experience to all our postal patrons, at the same time providing a framework to achieve significant cost savings as part of our plan to return the organization to financial stability.  

It’s important to note that Minot still retails and processes all local mail destined to zip codes beginning with 587 and 588. In addition, all incoming parcels are also processed locally. The move was primarily a logistical and transportation decision that did not impact any local mail service.

We encourage anyone with concerns to visit a local Post office or send an email via usps.com.”

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