Spanberger Presses U.S. Postal Service For Answers About Abrupt Closure of Montpelier Station Post Office in Orange County

Aug 04, 2022
Local Issues
Press

Since the Post Office Closed This Summer Without Prior Notice, the Congresswoman Has Heard From Many Virginians Who Abruptly Lost USPS Service

HENRICO, V.A. — In direct response to the concerns of Virginians struggling to access mail and packages following the sudden closure of the Montpelier Station Post Office, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today pressed the U.S. Postal Service to address the abrupt discontinuation of USPS service for Orange County residents.

In a letter sent to U.S. Postal Service Virginia District Manager Mr. Gerald Roane, Spanberger outlined the impacts of this closure on the people she serves — like being forced to pick up mail in-person at the Orange County Post Office during strict business hours. Additionally, she asked for answers about why the Montpelier Station Post Office closed with no prior notice given to residents or local officials — including more information about the justification behind the decision, the current employment status of employees at this post office, and alternative options for Orange County residents to receive their mail and packages.

“Unfortunately, many constituents have contacted my office to report the abrupt closure of the Montpelier Station Post Office in Orange County, Virginia on June 1, 2022,” said Spanberger. “Due to its location in a rural community, the Montpelier Station Post Office serves nearly 100 customers by P.O. box only. Neither my constituents nor local officials were given any prior notice of the closure, and the only information they were provided after service had already been discontinued was that their mail would be held behind the counter at the Orange County post office where they must now pick it up in-person during regular business hours.”

Spanberger continued, “As a Representative for the Orange region, I am concerned by this abrupt discontinuation of mail service that has prevented those we serve from receiving the important items they rely on. I am also extremely frustrated by the lack of transparency, forewarning regarding the closure, and information following the closure that my constituents and local officials have received.”

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Mr. Roane,

Thank you for your service as Virginia District Manager for the United States Postal Service. I am grateful for the dedication of public servants like yourself working on behalf of the American people.

Unfortunately, many constituents have contacted my office to report the abrupt closure of the Montpelier Station Post Office in Orange County, Virginia on June 1, 2022. Due to its location in a rural community, the Montpelier Station Post Office serves nearly 100 customers by P.O. box only. Neither my constituents nor local officials were given any prior notice of the closure, and the only information they were provided after service had already been discontinued was that their mail would be held behind the counter at the Orange County post office where they must now pick it up in-person during regular business hours. This poses significant logistical issues for my constituents who cannot access their mail due to their work schedules, childcare needs, transportation obstacles, and other barriers.

Under 39 U.S.C. §404(d)(2), prior to closing or consolidating a post office, the USPS must consider the impact such a closure will have on the community and postal employees. Additionally, USPS is required to consider its policy to “provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining.” USPS is required to make its determination to close or consolidate a post office in writing, and its determination must be made available to the customers served by the post office.

Further, the USPS may not close or consolidate a post office until “60 days after its written determination is made available to persons served by such post office” under 39 U.S.C. §404(d)(4). Any person served by the post office may appeal the closure within 30 days of USPS’s written determination.

My constituents who have attempted to appeal the closure of the post office thus far have also reported significant barriers, including that the process is time-consuming, complicated, and requires the assistance of a legal attorney (as noted by the Postal Regulatory Commission).

As a Representative for the Orange region, I am concerned by this abrupt discontinuation of mail service that has prevented those we serve from receiving the important items they rely on. I am also extremely frustrated by the lack of transparency, forewarning regarding the closure, and information following the closure that my constituents and local officials have received. While it is understandable that there may be conditions under which USPS decides to consolidate or close a post office location, it is wholly unacceptable to leave entire communities in the lurch without reliable access to mail services. It has now been almost two months without answers or meaningful engagement from the USPS on this closure, and all the while our community continues to go without access to their local post office. Virginians rely on the postal service to deliver their prescription medications, bills, groceries, and other essential items in a timely manner. As such, I would like to request the following information:

  • Did you receive prior notice of the decision to close the Montpelier Station Post Office before June 1, 2022?
  • If so, please provide a timeline and justification for the decision to discontinue mail service immediately without 60 days prior notice to customers as required by law.
  • Were the employees at this post office transferred to a different location, terminated from their employment, or otherwise?
  • What alternative options are available for these customers to access their mail if barriers prevent them from picking it up at the Orange County Post Office in-person during normal business hours?
  • If there were not extreme circumstances necessitating immediate closure of the post office, please provide information and a timeline for how the USPS will restore mail service at the Montpelier Station Post Office until the required procedure for closure is followed per 39 U.S.C. §404(d).

I look forward to working with you to resolve this issue and restore mail service to those we serve as quickly as possible. Virginians must be able to rely on the USPS for timely delivery of prescription medications, bills, and more. Additionally, we must ensure that our hardworking USPS employees receive fair treatment.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter – and for the hard work of the USPS in handling the historic challenges posed by these past two years. I look forward to your response.

###

Recent Posts


Aug 10, 2022
Veterans' Issues

President Biden Signs Into Law PACT Act, Including Spanberger’s Legislation to Demand VA Investigate Health Impacts of Jet Fuel Exposure on America’s Servicemembers

Now Law, the Congresswoman’s Legislation was Inspired by William G. Collins, a U.S. Air Force Veteran from Louisa County in Virginia’s Seventh District Living with Parkinson’s HENRICO, V.A. — President Joe Biden today signed into law U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation to investigate the long-term, negative health impacts of jet fuel exposure on America’s servicemembers. […]



Aug 10, 2022
Economy & Jobs

Amid Ongoing Shortages, Spanberger Pressures House Lawmakers to Hold Public Hearing with Baby Formula Manufacturers on Efforts to Boost Supply

In July of This Year, 30 Percent of Powdered Formula in the United States Remained Out of Stock HENRICO, V.A. — Amid ongoing shortages in Virginia and across the country, U.S. Representative Spanberger today pressed U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership to hold an additional hearing regarding the ongoing nationwide baby formula shortage. Months […]



Aug 9, 2022
Infrastructure

Spanberger Announces $3,000,000 RAISE Grant for U.S. Route 1 Improvements in Spotsylvania County

The RAISE Grant Program Was Made Possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which the Congresswoman Helped Negotiate & Move Across the Finish Line Last Year HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced a grant of $3,000,000 for Spotsylvania County for improvements along the U.S. Route 1 corridor from I-95/Exit 126 to Route 208/Lafayette Boulevard. […]