Senator First Announced Postal Service’s Intention to Build Facility in July 2016 – Just Three Months after Receiving a Commitment from Postmaster General to Quickly Improve Chronic Mail Issues in Watford City and Across the State
Press Release – Sep 25, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following her continued efforts to improve mail delivery and service across North Dakota through her Fix My Mail initiative, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that the Watford City Post Office is open for business.
First announced in 2016, the new post office – which will include almost 3,000 P.O. Boxes –followed Heitkamp successfully pushing the U.S. Postal Service for several years to improve mail delivery and service for North Dakotans across the state. Just three months before plans for the new post office were announced, Heitkamp secured a commitment from U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to quickly improve the chronic mail delivery concerns that hundreds of North Dakotans had shared with Heitkamp through her Fix My Mail survey. The survey, launched in 2016 as part of her Fix My Mail initiative, has generated nearly 650 responses from North Dakotans – including several from Watford City residents who wrote to Heitkamp about the challenges they faced in accessing and relying on their local post office.
“When residents in Watford City referenced the Bermuda Triangle a year ago, they weren’t referring to a far-off island – they were talking about their local Post Office, where so many residents told me that their mail had either been lost or long-delayed,” said Heitkamp. “Those are the stories I shared with Postmaster General Brennan last year, and she promised to work to quickly improve mail delivery and service across our state. Since then, we have seen improvements, including the Postal Service announcing that Watford City residents would see a new and improved post office. Today, that’s becoming a reality. Regular mail delivery is a lifeline for those in rural communities, enabling them to get packages, prescriptions, and much more. The Postal Service must keep listening to North Dakota’s concerns about delayed mail, and I’ll keep working to make that possible, as every North Dakota family and business ought to be able to count on their local post office to stay connected.”
Heitkamp has long been working on ways to improve the Postal Service to keep the agency accountable and reliable to rural communities. Just last week, Heitkamp called on U.S. Postmaster General Brennan take immediate action to remedy a significant lack of training requirements that led to inaccurate Postal Service reporting of an estimated two billion pieces of delayed mail over the course of one year, according to a recent USPS Inspector General audit report.
Since launching her Fix My Mail initiative in 2014 which has gathered hundreds of stories from North Dakotans about problems with mail delivery and service, Heitkamp has been working to hold the Postal Service accountable for improving mail delivery and service for rural communities. In May, Heitkamp followed up with Postmaster General Megan Brennan about what the Postal Service is doing to improve mail delivery throughout the country, especially in rural communities in North Dakota.
Long an advocate for improved mail delivery in North Dakota, Heitkamp’s efforts began shortly after taking office in 2013 when she heard from North Dakotans about ongoing problems with mail service.