USPS Is Suspending Services Here, Starting Jan. 15
The agency is gearing up to close another contracted facility.
Customer frustrations with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) have grown over the past year thanks to worsening delivery delays and ever-lengthy lines at the post office. But if that's the worst of your mail problems, consider yourself lucky. Some residents across the country are dealing with bigger impediments to sending and receiving mail, because the Postal Service has had to close a number of post offices recently—both temporarily and permanently. Now, more facilities are facing closures. Read on to find out where the USPS is suspending services in January.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Getting Rid of This Permanently, as of Jan. 31.
Many communities rely on contract postal units.
While the USPS directly manages most post offices across the U.S., the agency also leases several facilities to outside suppliers as contract postal units (CPUs). Through contracts with the Postal Service, "these units provide full service retail products and services to postal customers at USPS prices [but] they are housed within a supplier facility and are operated and managed by supplier employees," the agency explains.
As it turns out, some communities only have a CPU to rely on—which is becoming a significant problem, as the number of these facilities is dwindling. According to the latest report from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), 94 CPUs closed throughout the county between 2020 to 2021. And since 2019, a total of 202 contracted facilities have been shuttered.
"CPUs are not only closing at a faster rate than they're opening, but they're closing at a very substantial clip, especially since the start of the pandemic," Evan Kalish, an expert on the USPS and founder of the popular postal blog Postlandia, told Newsy on Nov. 23.
Now, another community is losing the postal facility it relies on.
The Postal Service is closing another one of these facilities soon.
Losing these contracted facilities can cause serious issues for customers.
Residents in communities like Sigurd, Utah, have gone more than two years without home mail delivery and have been forced to drive 30 minutes just to pick up their mail after a CPU closure, Newsy reported.
Now, the Postal Service has just announced that another CPU is on the chopping block. According to Nov. 18 press release from the agency, the Mack's Inn Contract Postal Unit in Island Park, Idaho, is set to shutter in the new year.
The USPS said the postal facility at the Mack's Inn resort will be closing, effective Jan. 15. "As a convenience to its customers, the Postal Service offers CPUs around the nation, such as the one located in Mack's Inn, ID," the agency added. "No delivery will be affected since the CPU only offers limited postal retail mailing services and Post Office Box service."
The agency said that Mack's Inn's current provider has ended its contract.
As Kalish told Newsy, contract facilities are relatively easy to close. "It can really just take one person, it can either be the person who operates the place, or it could just be one person somewhere in the hierarchy of the Postal Service itself," he said. "And that's all it takes really, because contract operations are not protected by many of the same protocols that regular post offices are."
In fact, the USPS said the Mack's Inn closure is the direct result of the facility losing its provider. "The current provider has chosen to terminate their contract and we will be forced to close this CPU," the agency said.
But the USPS added that it does "not anticipate any interruption to mail service" for customers of the Mack's Inn CPU, because it is searching for an alternative provider.
"The Postal Service conducts regular discussions with contractors regarding service and terms and it is our full intention to provide service at another, yet undetermined location," the agency said. "The Postal Service is willing to work with local businesses in the area to explore viable options for another CPU. This is an excellent opportunity for steady income for a business owner that also provides a valuable community service."
This is not the only contracted facility set to close.
The Mack's Inn facility is just one of the several CPUs already set to shutter soon.
The Postal Service confirmed earlier this month that contracted post offices in two other cities will be closing: Lake Isabella, California; and Big Sky, Montana. The Mount Mesa CPU in Lake Isabella is closing this week, and starting Nov. 30, all retail and PO Box services provided at this facility "will be temporarily relocated" to the nearby Lake Isabella Post Office, according to the USPS.
The agency said that the current provider of the Mount Mesa Post Office has "decided to terminate" its contract with the USPS. "The Postal Service is actively in the process of outreach in the local community for a new provider," the agency said.
The current provider of the Big Sky CPU also decided to terminate its contract with the Postal Service, according to the agency. As a result, the Postal Service said it "will be forced to close this CPU" and suspend all services provided by the facility, effective Feb. 28. "In the case of this leased facility, the lessor has chosen not to renew the lease," the USPS said.
CBS-affiliate KBZK in Bozeman, Montana reported that the agency had been battling over facility size with the Big Sky CPU's provider, real estate firm Gallatin Partners.