Officials at a Kalispell museum say that since the U.S. Postal Service closed its Kalispell processing center, its mail service has slowed to a crawl and in some cases is non-existent.
Gil Jordan, executive director of the Museum at Central School, said ever since the local processing center was closed amid budget cuts earlier this year, that delivery of the museum’s quarterly newsletter has been slower than normal. He said in some cases, the letters are not even getting to their final destination.
“We’ve had three newsletters sent and I’ve had a ton of people not get them,” Jordan said.
“This is three times in a row and before the processing center moved we never had a problem.”
But a USPS spokesperson says the agency has not received more complaints than normal since it moved its local processing operations to Missoula back in February.
“Whenever we change how we process our mail, we do a lot of work to ensure that our customers get the same level of service,” USPS spokesperson Pete Nowacki said.
“If people see any issues in the service, please get a hold of us because the more information we have the easier it is for us to find a solution.”
Before this year all mail, including bulk, was sorted at the post office on Meridian Road in Kalispell. Now bulk mail from the Flathead is sent to Missoula, where it should be sorted for delivery within 24 hours, according to Nowacki.
But Jordan said that hasn’t been the case with the Museum at Central School’s quarterly newsletter. He said the most recent issue was sent three weeks ago and, as of last week, he had still not received it at his home in Coram. Jordan said the letter is the primary form of communication for the museum and it’s important that it arrives to members in a timely manner. He said the museum spends about $600 to print the letter and another $250 to mail it every three months.
“More important than the costs, we lose contact with our members,” Jordan said.
“It’s our primary form of contact with our 800 members and if they don’t hear from us, they’ll forget about us. It’s human nature.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the USPS is hosting a public organizational meeting to form a Consumer Advisory Council in Kalispell. The group will provide a forum for residential and small business customers to express their ideas, concerns and suggestions to postal officials. Nowacki said such groups are common across the country and that postmasters are active participants who can answer the public’s questions directly.
Advisory council applications will be available at the post office and at the meeting on Nov. 12. The meeting is being held at the Flathead County Library at 247 First Ave. E. in Kalispell and starts at 6:30 p.m.
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