WASHINGTON, DC – After fighting for months against a plan to close scores of Oregon’s rural post offices, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced today that 20 are being removed from the list and will remain open for business.
The United States Postal Service wrote in a letter that it had reached the decision after a study determined that “inclement topography, lack of local connecting roads, and absence of opportunity for alternate access do not allow for reasonable customer access at this time” if the post offices were closed.
Senator Merkley applauded the decision, saying, “These post offices are the heart of their communities, and it would be absolutely wrong to close them. They are communications centers, gathering places, and key components of the local economy. In rural Oregon, post offices double as pharmacies for our seniors and shipping centers for our small businesses. Saving these post offices will save jobs and opportunities. This is a tremendous victory. But the fight is not over. Twenty-one more of Oregon’s rural post offices remain on the closure list, and I will keep fighting against their closure.”
The post offices that were not taken off the list at this time will remain open during a six month moratorium as Congress and the Postal Service work on a long-term solution. Senator Merkley was part of the coalition of Senators that called for the moratorium on closures.
Senator Merkley is also the author of the Protecting Rural Post Offices Act, which is co-sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill would prohibit the closing of post offices that are more than 10 miles from another facility.
The full list of post offices that were saved from closure is below: