- Associated Press - Sunday, June 8, 2014

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and the head of a U.S. Senate committee working to protect postal service in rural communities met this weekend with Williston leaders and community members to discuss mail delivery service and efforts to improve it.

Heitkamp and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Carper from Delaware visited to discuss the Fix My Mail initiative, the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/1n0VQBB ) reported Sunday. Heitkamp serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Carper chairs.

Heitkamp told people at the gathering Saturday in Williston that more than 140 North Dakotans have shared with her stories about postal woes. She said the stories have mentioned letters not being delivered to the correct address, letters not being delivered or disappearing in the online tracking system and ineffective mail forwarding.

“Through my Fix My Mail effort, I have heard of seniors not receiving their medication on time, post offices not being open enough hours to serve their communities, and extremely challenging working conditions for Postal Service employees.”

Carper told attendees that postal reform is a priority of his committee.

“As we work toward the enactment of meaningful postal reform legislation, our focus can’t just be on cuts; it has to be on ensuring that the Postal Service is relevant and thriving not just now but in the years to come,” Carper said.

Officials in North Dakota have been pushing the Postal Service for months to improve service in the western part of the state, which is bustling with oil activity. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven in February announced that the Postal Service will grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain mail carriers in that region of the state. Meanwhile, 32 post offices across have agreed to extend their hours of operation to meet the demand.


Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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