Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote a letter to the United States Postmaster General, Patrick R. Donahoe, urging him to reverse course on a proposal to close the Erie Post Office. Residents who rely on this post office have expressed concerns about plans close the facility, and how it would impact local businesses whose operations would become more expensive if a post office was not readily accessible.
“I am aware that the USPS has to cut costs in the face of financial concerns, and that means difficult decisions need to be made,” Senator Casey said. “However, the Erie Post Office serves a region that is expected to see increased demand for postal services in the coming years due to projected economic growth. If the USPS reduces service it may hinder that growth and negatively impact the region. I urge the Postmaster General to carefully examine these concerns before making a final decision.”
In the letter, Senator Casey asked the Postmaster General to address certain concerns of local residents, including an explanation of closing the post office would impact the local economy in the long term.
Below is the full text of Senator Casey’s letter:
The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Mr. Donahoe:
I write today with regards to the proposed closure of the Processing and Distribution Facility in Erie, Pennsylvania. I understand that the United States Postal Service (USPS) continues to face great financial difficulties and that tough decisions and reforms have to be made. However, I remain committed to working with you to overcome these challenges while preserving jobs and essential services on which many Pennsylvanians depend. Closing the Erie Post Office will have a detrimental impact on the Erie region. The purpose of this letter is to urge you to take the broader economic impact of this closure into consideration.
Members of the Erie community have contacted me to express grave concern about how this proposal would affect mail delivery and efficiency. Specifically, the community is concerned that the delay caused by shipping the mail to facilities outside of Erie would result in slower services to businesses and individuals in the region. In fact, several printing and distribution companies are located within the vicinity of the facility for easy access to the services provided by the facility. Should this closure occur, the costs incurred by these businesses would increase dramatically, which could damage their operations and lead to layoffs. In addition, the Erie community continues to question the more than $4 million in annual savings that the USPS has predicted. I ask you to provide more information to demonstrate the validity of these proposed savings.
I have also been informed that the closure would result in the loss of 120 good-paying jobs. This loss will have a significant impact on these individuals’ families as well as the local economy. During this time of economic recovery, I ask you and your staff to carefully consider the broader impact prior to making a final decision.
As the USPS considers the outright closure of the Erie Processing and Distribution Facility, I ask that you please take into consideration the viewpoints of your customers. I ask that you meet with concerned members of the community and that you seek a decision that ensures that their needs continue to be met.
If there is any way that my office can assist you in these efforts, please contact me or my staff. Thank you for your attention to this request.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator