May 4, 2012. WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) today urged the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to extend its current moratorium on post office closures until Congress completes its work on a pending postal reform bill. Hagan was part of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who sent a letter today urging Postmaster General Patrick Donahue to keep post offices, such as the Downtown Boone Post Office, open by extending the moratorium beyond the scheduled end date of May 15.
“We are deeply concerned that the closing of these postal facilities prior to postal reform legislation being enacted would be devastating to communities around the country,” Hagan wrote in the letter. “Post offices provide social and economic benefits, particularly to rural communities. We strongly urge you to extend the current moratorium on the closing of postal facilities.”
A 2011 Commerce Department report shows that more than 30 percent of U.S. households did not have broadband Internet access at home. Additionally, more than 25 percent did not use the Internet. Postal mail remains the one universal service connecting North Carolinians to commerce, government, news and social and civic institutions.
Last month, the Senate passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act to put the USPS back on the road to financial stability. Should the USPS extend its moratorium until reform is enacted into law, the Senate-passed bill would require USPS to consider certain factors before closing post offices, including the age of individuals in the area, transportation challenges and access to the Internet.