Peters: USPS to provide info on proposed changes

May 1 deadline

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters said Tuesday he has given U.S. Postmaster Gen. Louis DeJoy a May 1 deadline to provide information on the impact his proposed changes to the U.S. postal system will have on delivery speeds.

“We are going to hold the Postal Service to these deadlines and expect that we get that information,” he said in a press conference after a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs. “And if the information is not something that makes sense to us, and could potentially harm veterans or people across the U.P., that will be unacceptable. And we will call that out and ask them to pause any changes until they can assure the people in our Upper Peninsula and people across the country that these changes will actually be beneficial to them and not harmful.”

DeJoy is implementing a 10-year plan to overhaul and consolidate USPS operations, which he said will improve service over the long run and create cost savings.

The consolidation plans extend to the processing center in Kingsford. Under the proposed plan, all mail from the U.P. would instead be sent to Green Bay. The plan has met with widespread disapproval across the U.P.; Baraga and Houghton counties are among the boards who have passed resolutions opposing the measure. Dickinson County plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents relating to the decision as a prelude to a possible suit against USPS.

Peters said his understanding was that USPS officials had been unaware there was a Veterans Administration hospital nearby in Iron Mountain, which he called “unacceptable.” Next-day delivery is also necessary in cases such as water testing, he said.

“They need next-day delivery for those tests to be valid. And it’s critical that the post office is actually able to deliver that next-day delivery so that those tests can be validated,” he said. “Our veterans need to be sure that they get their medications which are provided via the Postal Service. And that has to happen on an everyday basis or it can have significant health impacts.”

Residents in pilot cities where changes have been implemented, such as Houston and Atlanta, have also complained about extensive delays in mail delivery.

“The Postal Service needs to operate more efficiently and be able to bring down costs while continuing to maintain very high service standards for Americans,” Peters said. “Postmaster General DeJoy has put together a plan to do that. Unfortunately, in those early postal centers, we have seen that it has not been performing as advertised.”


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