Collins Introduces Legislation to Protect Community Post Offices
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) today introduced H.R. 3333, the Community Post Office Act, to require the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) to receive written approval from local governments before relocating any post office facility.
“As cities across the country are experiencing rapid growth, post offices are struggling to remain accessible due to congestion, inadequate facilities, and aging infrastructure. While it may be necessary for the Postal Service to relocate such facilities, like the Green Street Post Office in Gainesville, it is equally as critical the Postal Service take into consideration the serious community interests at stake when choosing a new facility,” said Rep. Collins.
“By requiring the Postal Service to receive written approval from local governments before relocating any post office, the Community Post Office Act will ensure each new facility continues to serve the needs of their community and remains accessible for future generations to come.”
Under current law, the Postal Service is required to solicit input on relocation sites from community members and local elected officials. However, instead of working closely with cities and counties to choose a new location that will best serve the local community, the Postal Service has chosen to shield local officials from providing any insight on locations that the Postal Service is considering. This has resulted in the Postal Service favoring relocation sites that are difficult for community access and unconducive to city growth.
In February 2018, Collins sent a letter to the Postal Service to voice support for relocating the Green Street Post Office in Gainesville, Georgia, and to request the Postal Service work with the City of Gainesville to find a new location.
In March 2018, the Postal Service announced its decision to relocate the Green Street Post Office. However, the Postal Service failed to advise local officials of the contending sites and seek community feedback on those proposed sites.
In January 2019, Collins sent a follow up letter to the Postal Service once again urging it to work with the City of Gainesville to choose a new location that will best serve the local community.
The Community Post Office Act will require the Postal Service to:
- Provide the appropriate city, county, or state government with a public list of all proposed relocation sites, including those submitted by community members and government officials;
- Seek open comment from the appropriate city, county, or state government regarding potential sites for the relocated post office;
- Receive written approval from the appropriate city, county, or state government that the site chosen for relocation is supported and approved by that government.