Postmaster General Comes to Williston - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Postmaster General Comes to Williston

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The Postal Service's infrastructure in western North Dakota isn't set up to deal with the amount of people in the Bakken, and it's creating chaos in towns like Williston and Watford City. And the problems people are having with mail service hasn't gone unnoticed in Washington, D.C. Senator John Hoeven and the Postmaster General were in Williston today to talk about some changes coming to the mail system in oil country.

Northwestern North Dakota is different from the rest of the country in many ways. Post offices being too busy is one example, and officials have been trying to come up with solutions to make sure the mail system is effective.

"You have to think outside the box, and do things necessary to continue, as a city we a provide a service as well, you just got to think outside the box," says Williston Mayor Ward Koeser.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the Postal Service is going to fix the mail problems in western North Dakota, and he's going to start by opening a second post office in Williston.

"It will be for P.O. Boxes, window service, and will probably put an automated postal center in there, so that a person can actually mail things out 24 hours a day," says Donahoe.

He says it will most likely be somewhere north of town. Another problem the city is facing, in terms of mail, are the number of new apartment complexes.

"What we will do, is we'll work with you to establish delivery, in what we call NDCBU, it's like a cluster box type of delivery," adds Donahoe.

Donahoe hopes to use a new style of cluster boxes that are able to take packages, too. Rural areas were also talked about at the meeting.

The greater impact of this has been in the rural areas. We have almost the homestead act being reenacted right now," says Williams County Commission Chair Dan Kalil.

Hoeven says Donahoe is a businessman and will make sure everyone gets their mail.

"There's a real desire to find ways to meet these needs, and so, we want to do everything we can to help make that happen," says Hoeven.

Donahoe is also planning changes for the post office in Watford City. He wants to work on the addressing system so mail can be sent out, rather than residents coming to pick their mail up.

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