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Senators Thune, Rounds and Rep. Johnson team up to send letter to US Postal Service asking to avoid downsizing operations in South Dakota

Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) led a letter with Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging the Postal Service to avoid downsizing or significantly reorganizing mail processing operations in South Dakota.

As part of its Delivering for America plan, the USPS is reviewing every processing and distribution center in the nation in order to offset deficits by reducing services at a portion of them and eliminating some others. The Dakota Central processing and distribution center in Huron was among the first to be reviewed. The initial findings supported a move of all non-local mail processing from the Huron facility to Fargo, North Dakota. In February 2024, USPS finalized that decision, without taking into account local concerns.

In 2012, the USPS closed Customer Service Mail Processing Centers in Aberdeen, Mobridge and Pierre. Currently, the only USPS processing facilities in South Dakota are in Huron, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. The USPS also did an initial review of the Sioux Falls processing facility and is in the stages of finalizing a move of all non-local processing to Omaha, Nebraska.

“We share your belief that all Americans deserve the U.S. Postal Service’s highest service standards,” the delegation wrote. “We also recognize that some infrastructure changes may be necessary to mitigate USPS’s financial pressures. However, such changes should not come at the expense of rural and highly rural populations in South Dakota or similar states.”

“We believe that further curtailment of processing operations in South Dakota could yield additional delays and costs,” the delegation continued. “Specifically, with mail being rerouted out of state, we are concerned that added delays stemming from adverse weather would affect rural towns, other small communities and tribal nations across South Dakota.”

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