Do you have a half hour you can spare to help save our Post Office?
As you may know, the Skamokawa Post Office is one of the over 3,000 U.S. rural Post Offices slated for closure. The Skamokawa Grange is opposed to this closure. Our Grange Hall hosted a community meeting with Post Office officials. Community members there were in unanimous support of keeping our Post Office open. The advice given at this meeting by Post Office Operations Manager David Boos was a strong recommendation to write letters to our congressional representatives. Many of us have done so, but so far have received tepid responses.
There has been recent movement at the Congressional level that may delay the closure of rural post offices, but it is clear that without a strong demonstration of community support, we have little chance of keeping our own Skamokawa Post Office open. Without it, we may lose some of our local businesses that depend on the service our rural post office provides, and the commercial traffic that postal customers deliver to our town’s business center.
Please join us by adding your voice to your friends and neighbors in Skamokawa. If you have already written once, (or more than once) please do so again. The clock is ticking on our 60 day window to make our case. We have only a few weeks left to state overwhelmingly that we need to keep this service. Please write to each of our representatives, on the State and Federal level. Have your letters post-marked here. (Skamokawa is one of the declining number of post offices that offer this service) If you have access to the Internet, add an email message. Addresses can be found at the end of this letter.
Here are some talking points:
Our newly elected Congressional Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler has taken a public stance in support of job development by hosting a jobs fair targeted to her constituency in SW Washington. Most of the employers at the fair were out of driving range for her rural constituency in Wahkiakum County. The Skamokawa Post Office is a vital economic driver that is already here in our own community. An attorney and local employer uses our post office for timely delivery of client communications. Without this service, she has indicated she may have to relocate elsewhere.
Our general store was recently purchased and remodeled at great expense to include a post office facility customized to suit federal requirements. The manger of that facility noted in his comments to the community that the foot traffic generated by local visits to the post office provides a large percentage of visits to the general store. He has made the offer to extend a lease with no annual increases to keep the post office in its current location.
Our post office provides service to members of our community who would be challenged to obtain it elsewhere. Many of our residents do not have access to the Internet. Many of our population do not have access to a reliable vehicle. For those who do, adding an extra 15 miles per day to travel to and from Cathlamet for mail pick up would add prohibitive fuel costs to already stretched budgets.
The study done for our post office indicates the there is no disabled access and that staff do not assist those with special needs. This is an error. In the recent remodel, disabled access was added. Our post office staff consistently goes the ‘extra mile’ to assist all clients and to serve their individual needs.
Lastly, closing the Skamokawa Post Office would be contrary to existing directives: 101(b) of Title 39 (US Code)
“The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.”
Thank you for taking the time to help keep our post office open. Below are the email links and physical addresses to send your letters to:
US Senator Patty Murray - email contact form
The Marshall House
1323 Officer's Row
Vancouver, WA 98661
Toll Free: (866) 481-9186 (Washington D.C.)
US Senator Maria Cantwell - email contact form
1313 Officers Row
Vancouver, WA 98661
Toll Free: (888)648-7328
US Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler - email contact form
750 Anderson Street, Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661
State Representative Brian Hatfield - email contact form
PO Box 40419
Olympia, WA 98504-0419
State Representative Dean Takko - email contact form
434 Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
District Discontinuance Coordinator
P.O. Box 3609