WNYT.com

Rural elected leaders tell congressman that Postal Service failed to consider their needs

Posted at: 02/07/2013 5:06 PM
Updated at: 02/07/2013 5:47 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

FORT EDWARD - For many, not receiving mail on Saturday is just a minor inconvenience. But in rural America, including Washington County, where agriculture is the major industry, no mail on Saturday could have a major impact.

Hartford's Town Supervisor, Dana Haff, says farmers tend to rely on mail to pay their bills and get paid and interrupting that service could be a major problem, especially on holiday weekends when delivery could be down for three or four days.

"If you're going to take out one day of delivery, maybe mid-week, Wednesday would be better because now you're not going to have a large block without mail coming out," said Haff.

During a meeting with Congressman Bill Owens Thursday morning, Washington County Supervisors talked about unemployment, sequestration and gun control. And several shared their displeasure over the Post Office's decision to halt Saturday delivery. Saying the region is already hampered by poor cell service and lack of broadband internet.

"And here we are in the rural area and they say now we're going to cut your postal service but we're still yet to get cell service and we're still yet to get the good internet service," said Brian Campbell, Hebron Town Supervisor.

Congressman Owens agrees, saying the Post Office failed to consider rural areas that are more reliant on mail and should instead be looking for more ways to make money.

"I think they could focus on revenue enhancement rather than focusing on cutting," said Owens, D - Plattsburgh.