Tester Holds Postal Service Accountable to Lewistown

Senator Demands USPS Restore Regular Hours of Service in Fergus County

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – On behalf of businesses and Montanans across Fergus County, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding the United States Postal Service (USPS) restore regular hours of service in and around Lewistown.

“The Postal Service must uphold its responsibility to its customers no matter where they live,” Tester told Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan this week. “Rural America does matter and folks in these communities are some of the Postal Service’s biggest defenders in a climate of privatization.”

Tester’s demand comes at the request of outraged residents and business owners who contacted his office for help after USPS suddenly shortened its mail collection time in Fergus County from 5 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. As a result, all mail deposited after 3:30 p.m. will be postmarked for the following business day, delaying delivery.

“This change will have a cascading effect on residents and businesses,” Tester said. “My office has heard from multiple individuals, businesses, and local government leaders, all of whom face disruption in their personal and professional lives.”

One such business, a local accounting firm in Lewistown, explained why this change poses such a problem.

“We are an accounting firm, and much of our outgoing mail is required to be postmarked on the day it goes out,” wrote Office Manager Cindy Knutsen. “There are times we are waiting for information to be delivered by mail, and that information is necessary to complete a certain job that must still go out in the current day’s mail. Depending on the day, and the postal carrier, our mail arrives between noon and 2:00 p.m. We used to have until 5:15 to get it to the post office for a current postmark. Now we only have until 3:00 p.m. to leave our office and may even need to close the office, as we are a small business and have only one full time employee, who is occasionally the only person here.”

Tester has been a relentless advocate for postal reform in the Senate, particularly when it comes to ensuring reliable mail service in rural areas. Tester’s letter to the Postmaster General is available HERE. More about Tester’s work on postal reform is available HERE.