USPS Delays Post Office Closures

The U.S. Postal Service will delay the closure or consolidation of thousands of post offices around the country, including five in Alaska.

The Postal Service announced a five-month reprieve Tuesday morning, while Congress debates postal service legislation.  The agency says it will lift the moratorium on May 15.

The Douglas Post Office is on the Alaska list as well as the Anchorage Postal Store, postal stations at Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force bases, and the post office at Fort Wainwright Military Base.

Ernie Swanson, USPS spokesman for Washington state and Alaska, says those post offices are not yet out of the woods.

Several bills to help the financially strapped USPS are now before Congress.  The postal service can’t lobby Congress, and Swanson says none of them address all the issues…

Congress started requiring prepayment of benefits in 2006.

Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich is among the senators taking credit for the moratorium.  They met yesterday with U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr. to encourage the delay.

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Rosemarie Alexander is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

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