Sen. Bennet calls for swift action on bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act |

Sen. Bennet calls for swift action on bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act

The $57 billion USPS overhaul is heading to the Senate after being passed by the House on Tuesday

Ali Longwell
Vail Daily News
A new bipartisan bill could help bring much-needed changes to the U.S. Postal Service.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily Archive

On Wednesday, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urging him to take up the Postal Service Reform Act immediately.

“For more than a year, my office has heard increasing frustration and significant concerns about USPS delivery and facilities in rural and mountain communities in Colorado,” Bennet wrote in the letter to Schumer.

“We have heard about inconsistent and unreliable delivery service; the need for larger facilities to manage increased customer and parcel traffic; understaffed facilities resulting in reduced post office hours or sporadic closures, and a shortage of parcel lockers. All of these issues result in poor, late, or non-delivery of essential mail for Coloradans in these communities,” he continues.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Postal Service Reform Act, 342 to 92, and it is now making its way to the Senate. The $57 billion overhaul would address a number of financial and operational challenges faced by the agency.

In his letter, Bennet wrote that it would improve the Postal Service’s financial stability, strengthen transparency and accountability, and codify a 6-day-a-week delivery standard.

This legislation — and Bennet’s support of it — comes as Colorado’s mountain communities face growing challenges surrounding its postal offices.

In October 2021, the president of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, Dara MacDonald, wrote a letter to Bennet and Sen. John Hickenlooper, calling for “a systematic change in the way the USPS operates in our mountain communities.”

Following the letter, Sen. Bennet’s office had a meeting on Jan. 31 with the U.S. Postal Service to open up the lines of communication and begin to address these issues for mountain communities.

In his letter to Schumer, Bennet addresses the reliance of Coloradans, particularly those in rural communities, on “reliable and effective postal services for mail order medical prescriptions; federal assistance documents; bills; and to mail electoral ballots.”

While Vail and Avon are the only two Eagle County municipalities included in the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, frustrations with the postal service stretch across the valley. Now, many of the towns are beginning to take action to address both systemic and individual challenges.

At Tuesday’s Avon Town Council meeting, Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes addressed that the bipartisan bill passed the house, calling it “great news” and joking that “I guess the letter that CAST wrote landed in the right place.”

The hope is that this new legislation will bring about larger change that will help to address the communities’ individual sets of challenges.

“Ultimately, this bill is a first step toward allowing USPS to develop and execute plans for strategic investments and facility upgrades throughout the country,” wrote Bennet in his letter to Schumer.

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